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VOL.  II. 


i  in  ©rbmarg  10  ftr  Pajtsls  % 


THE  present  volume  has  been  translated  from  the 
fifth  edition  of  the  original,  and  has  had,  throughout, 

the  benefit  of  Professor  Duncker's  revision. 

E.  A. 

Oxford,  Jan.  14,  1879. 


: :'  :**: 







THE  BEGINNINGS  OF   THE  ASSYRIAN   KINGDOM  ...  ...        26 















KING  SOLOMON      ...  ...  •••  •••  •••  •••      1^9 


THE  LAW   OF   THE  PRIESTS  ...  ...  ...  •••      201 


JUDAH  AND  ISRAEL  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...     227 


THE  CITIES  OF   THE  PHENICIANS      ...  ...  ...  ...      262 


THE  TRADE  OF   THE  PHENICIANS      ...  ...  ...  ...      294 


THE  RISE  OF  ASSYRIA          ...  ...  ...  ...  ...      308 





ABOUT  the  middle  course  of  the  Tigris,  where  the  moun- 
tain wall  of  the  Armenian  plateau  steeply  descends  to 
the  south,  there  is  a  broad  stretch  of  hilly  country. 
To  the  west  it  is  traversed  by  a  few  water- courses 
only,  which  spring  out  of  the  mountains  of  Sindyar, 
and  unite  with  the  Tigris ;  from  the  east  the  affluents 
are  far  more  abundant.  On  the  southern  shore  of  the 
lake  of  Urumiah  the  edge  of  the  plateau  of  Iran  abuts 
on  the  Armenian  table-land,  and  then,  stretching  to  the 
south-east,  it  bounds  the  river  valley  of  the  Tigris 
toward  the  east.  From  its  vast,  successive  ranges, 
the  Zagrus  of  the  Greeks,  flow  the  Lycus  and  Caprus 
(the  Greater  and  the  Lesser  Zab),  the  Adhim  and  the 
Diala.  The  water,  which  these  rivers  convey  to  the 
land  between  the  Zagrus  and  the  Tigris,  together 
with  the  elevation  of  the  soil,  softens  the  heat  and 
allows  olive  trees  and  vines  to  flourish  in  the  cool  air 
on  the  hills,  sesame  and  corn  in  the  valleys  between 
groups  of  palms  and  fruit-trees.  The  backs  of  the 
heights  which  rise  to  the  east  are  covered  by  forests  of 
oaks  and  nut  trees.  Toward  the  south  the  ground 

VOL.   II  B 

••&*.•:  . , :  /A  • .  .*          ASSYRIA. 

gradually  sinks — oil  the  west  immediately  under  the 
mountains  of  Sindyar,  on  the  east  below  the  Lesser 
Zab — toward  the  course  of  the  Adhim  into  level  plains, 
where  the  soil  is  little  inferior  in  fertility  to  the  land 
of  Babylonia.  The  land  between  the  Tigris  and  the 
Greater  Zab  is  known  to  Strabo  and  Arrian  as  Aturia.1 
The  districts  between  the  Greater  and  Lesser  Zab  are 
called  Arbelitis  and  Adiabene  by  western  writers.2 
The  region  bounded  by  the  Lesser  Zab  and  the  Adhim 
or  the  Diala  is  called  Sittacene,  and  the  land  lying 
on  the  mountains  rising  further  toward  the  east  is 
Chalonitis.  The  latter  we  shall  without  doubt  have  to 
regard  as  the  Holwan  3  of  later  times. 

According  to  the  accounts  of  the  Greeks,  it  was 
in  these  districts  that  the  first  kingdom  rose  which 
made  conquests  and  extended  its  power  beyond  the 
borders  of  its  native  country.  In  the  old  time — such 
is  the  story — kings  ruled  in  Asia,  whose  names  were  not 
mentioned,  as  they  had  not  performed  any  striking  ex- 
ploits. The  first  of  whom  any  memorial  is  retained,  and 
who  performed  great  deeds,  was  Ninus,  the  king  of  the 
Assyrians.  Warlike  and  ambitious  by  nature,  he  armed 

1  Strabo,  pp.  736,  737.  Arrian,  "  Anab."  3,  7,  7.  The  same  form  of 
the  name,  Athura,  is  given  in  the  inscriptions  of  Darius. 

3  Plin.  "Hist.  Nat."  6,  27  ;  5,  12  :  Adiabene  Assyria  ante  dicta. 
Ptolemseus  (6,  1)  puts  Adiabene  and  Arbelitis  side  by  side.  Diodorus, 
18,  39.  Arrian,  Epit.  35 :  n]v  pif  pkativ  rHJv  irorafiuv  yjjv  icat  rtjv 
'Apf3r)\lriv  ivupt  'AfjKpifia^. 

3  Polyb.  5,  5-4.  The  border  line  between  the  original  country  of 
Assyria  and  Elam  cannot  be  ascertained  with  certainty.  According 
to  Herodotus  (5,  52)  Susa  lay  42  parasangs,  »'.  e.  about  150  miles,  to 
the  south  of  the  northern  border  of  Susiana.  Hence  we  may  perhaps 
take  the  Diala  as  the  border  between  the  later  Assyria  and  Elam.  The 
use  of  the  name  Assyria  for  Mesopotamia  and  Babylonia,  as  well  as 
Assyria  proper,  in  Herodotus  (e.  g.  1,  178)  and  other  Greeks, — the  name 
Syria,  which  is  only  an  abbreviation  of  Assyria  (Herod.  7,  63), — arises 
from  the  period  of  the  supremacy  of  Assyria  in  the  epoch  750 — 650 
B.C.  Cf.  Strabo,  pp.  736,  737,  and  Noldeke,  ASSYPI02,  Hermes,  1871 
(5),  443  ff. 


tlie  most  vigorous  of  his  young  men,  and  accustomed 
them  by  long  and  various  exercises  to  all  the  toils  and 
dangers  of  war.  After  collecting  a  splendid  army,  he 
combined  with  Ariseus,  the  prince  of  the  Arabs,  and 
marched  with  numerous  troops  against  the  neighbouring 
Babylonians.  The  city  of  Babylon  was  not  built  at 
that  time,  but  there  were  other  magnificent  cities  in  the 
land.  The  Babylonians  were  an  unwarlike  people,  and 
he  subdued  them  with  little  trouble,  took  their  king 


prisoner,  slew  him  with  his  children,  and  imposed  a 
yearly  tribute  on  the  Babylonians.  Then  with  a  still 
greater  force  he  invaded  Armenia  and  destroyed 
several  cities.  Barzanes,  the  king  of  Armenia,  per- 
ceived that  he  was  not  in  a  position  to  resist.  He 
repaired  with  costly  presents  to  Ninus  and  undertook 
to  be  his  vassal.  With  great  magnanimity  Ninus  per- 
mitted him  to  retain  the  throne  of  Armenia  ;  but  he  was 
to  provide  a  contingent  in  war  and  contribute  to  the 
support  of  the  army.  Strengthened  by  these  means, 
Ninus  turned  his  course  to  Media.  Pharnus,  king  of 
Media,  came  out  to  meet  him  with  a  strong  force,  but  he 
was  nevertheless  defeated,  and  crucified  with  his  wife 
and  seven  children,  and  Ninus  placed  one  of  his  own 
trusty  men  as  viceroy  over  Media.  These  successes 
raised  in  Ninus  the  desire  to  subjugate  all  Asia  as  far 
as  the  Nile  and  the  Tanais.  He  conquered,  as  Ctesias 
narrates,  Egypt,  Phoenicia,  Coele  Syria,  Cilicia,  Lycia 
and  Caria,  Lydia,  Mysia,  Phrygia,  Bithynia,  and 
Cappadocia,  and  reduced  the  nations  on  the  Pontus  as 
far  as  the  Tanais.  Then  he  made  himself  master  of  the 
land  of  the  Cadusians  and  Tapyrians,  of  the  Hyrcanians, 
Drangians,  Derbiccians,  Carmanians,  Chorasmians, 
Barcians,  and  Parthians.  Beside  these,  he  overcame 
Persia,  and  Susiana,  and  Caspiana,  and  many  other 
small  nations.  But  in  spite  of  many  efforts  he  failed  to 



obtain  any  success  against  the  Bactrians,  because  the 
entrance  to  their  land  was  difficult  and  the  number  of 
their  men  of  war  was  great.  So  he  deferred  the  war 
against  the  Bactrians  to  another  opportunity,  and  led 
his  army  back,  after  subjugating  in  17  years  all  the 
nations  of  Asia,  with  the  exception  of  the  Indians 
and  Bactrians.  The  king  of  the  Arabians  he  dismissed 
to  his  home  with  costly  presents  and  splendid  booty  ; 
he  began  himself  to  build  a  city  which  should  not 
only  be  greater  than  any  other  then  in  existence,  but 
should  be  such  that  no  city  in  the  future  could  ever 
surpass  it.  This  city  he  founded  on  the  bank  of  the 
Tigris,1  in  the  form  of  an  oblong,  and  surrounded  it  with 
strong  fortifications.  The  two  longer  sides  measured 
150  stades  each,  the  two  shorter  sides  90  stades  each, 
so  that  the  whole  circuit  was  480  stades.  The  walls 
reached  a  height  of  100  feet,  and  were  so  thick  that 
there  was  room  in  the  gangway  for  three  chariots  to 
pass  each  other.  These  walls  were  surmounted  by  1500 
towers,  each  of  the  height  of  200  feet.  As  to  the 
inhabitants  of  the  city,  the  greater  number  and  those 
of  the  most  importance  were  Assyrians,  but  from  the 
other  nations  also  any  who  chose  could  fix  his  dwelling 
here,  and  Ninus  allotted  to  the  settlers  large  portions 
of  the  surrounding  territory,  and  called  the  city  Ninus, 
after  his  own  name. 

When  the  city  was  built  Ninus  resolved  to  march 
against   the   Bactrians.      He  knew  the  number  and 

J  The  Euphrates,  which  Diodorus  mentions  2,  3  and  also  2,  27,  is 
not  to  be  put  down  to  a  mistake  of  Ctesias,  since  Nicolaus  (Frag.  9, 
ed.  Miiller)  describes  Nineveh  as  situated  on  the  Tigris  in  a  passage 
undoubtedly  borrowed  from  Ctesias.  The  error  belongs,  as  Carl 
Jacoby  ("Ehein.  Museum,"  30,  575  ff.)  has  proved,  to  the  1  istorians 
of  the  time  of  Alexander  and  the  earliest  Diadochi,  who  had  in  their 
thoughts  the  city  of  Mabog  (Hierapolis),  on  the  Euphrates,  which  was 
also  called  Nineveh.  The  mistake  has  passed  from  Clitarchu  <  to  the 
narrative  of  Diodorus. 


bravery  of  the  Bactrians,  and  how  difficult  their  land 
was  to  approach,  and  therefore  he  collected  the  armies 
of  all  the  subject  nations,  to  the  number  of  1,700,000 
foot  soldiers,  210,000  cavalry,  and  towards  10,600 
chariots  of  war.  The  narrowness  of  the  passes  which 
protect  the  entrance  to  Bactria  compelled  Ninus  to 
divide  his  army.  Oxyartes,  who  at  that  time  was  king 
of  the  Bactrians,  ha.d  collected  the  whole  male  popula- 
tion of  his  country,  about  400,000  men,  and  met  the 
enemy  at  the  passes.  One  part  of  the  Assyrian  army 
he  allowed  to  enter  •  unmolested ;  when  a  sufficient 
number  seemed  to  have  reached  the  plains  he  attacked 
them  and  drove  them  back  to  the  nearest  mountains  ; 
about  100,000  Assyrians  were  slain.  But  when  the 
whole  force  had  penetrated  into  the  land,  the  Bactrians 
were  overcome  by  superior  numbers  and  scattered  each 
to  his  own  city.  The  rest  of  the  cities  were  captured 
by  Ninus  with  little  trouble,  but  Bactra,  the  chief 
city,  where  the  palace  of  the  king  lay,  he  could  not 
reduce,  for  it  was  large  and  well-provisioned,  and  the 
fortress  was  very  strong. 

When  the  siege  became  protracted,  Onnes,  the  first 
among  the  counsellors  of  the  king  and  viceroy  of 
Syria,  who  accompanied  the  king  on  this  campaign, 
sent  for  his  wife  Semiramis  to  the  camp.  Once 
when  he  was  inspecting  the  flocks  of  the  king  in 
Syria,  he  had  seen  at  the  dwelling  of  Simmas,  the 
keeper  of  these  flocks,  a  beautiful  maiden,  and  he  was 
so  overcome  with  love  for  her  that  he  sought  and 
obtained  her  as  a  wife  from  Simmas.  She  was  the 
foster-child  of  Simmas.  In  a  rocky  place  in  the 
desert  his  shepherds  had  found  the  maiden  about  a 
year  old,  fed  by  doves  with  milk  and  cheese ;  as 
Simmas  was  childless  he  had  taken  the  foundling  as 
his  child,  and  given  her  the  name  of  Semiramis 


Onnes  took  her  to  the  city  of  Ninus.  She  bore 
him  two  sons,  Hyapates  and  Hydaspes,  and  as  she 
had  everything  "which  beauty  requires,  she  made  her 
husband  her  slave;  he  did  nothing  without  her  ad- 
vice, and  everything  succeeded  admirably.  She  also 
possessed  intelligence  and  daring,  and  every  other  gift 
likely  to  advance  her.  When  requested  by  Onnes  to 
come  to  the  camp,  she  seized  the  opportunity  to  dis- 
play her  power.  She  put  on  such  clothing  that  it 
could  not  be  ascertained  whether  she  was  a  man  or  a 
woman,  and  this  succeeded  so  well  that  at  a  later  time 
the  Medes,  and  after  them  the  Persians  also,  wore  the 
robe  of  Semiramis.  When  she  arrived  in  the  camp 
she  perceived  that  the  attack  was  directed  only  against 
the  parts  of  the  city  lying  in  the  plain,  not  against  the 
high  part  and  the  strong  fortifications  of  the  citadel, 
and  she  also  perceived  that  this  direction  of  the  attack 
induced  the  Bactrians  to  be  careless  in  watching  the 
citadel.  She  collected  all  those  in  the  army  who  were 
accustomed  to  climbing,  and  with  this  troop  she 
ascended  the  citadel  from  a  deep  ravine,  captured  a  part 
of  it,  and  gave  the  signal  to  the  army  which  was 
assaulting  the  walls  in  the  plain.  The  Bactrians  lost 
their  courage  wrhen  they  saw  their  citadel  occupied, 
and  the  city  was  taken.  Ninus  admired  the  courage 
of  the  woman,  honoured  her  with  costly  presents,  and 
was  soon  enchained  by  her  beauty;  but  his  attempts  to 
persuade  Onnes  to  give  up  Semiramis  to  him  were  in 
vain ;  in  vain  he  offered  to  recompense  him  by  the 
gift  of  his  own  daughter  Sosana  in  marriage.  At 
length  Ninus  threatened  to  put  out  his  eyes  if  he  did 
not  obey  his  commands.  The  terror  of  this  threat 
and  the  violence  of  his  own  love  drove  Onnes  out  of 
his  mind.  He  hung  himself.  Thus  Semiramis  came 
to  the  throne  of  Assyria.  "When  Ninus  had  taken 


possession  of  the  great  treasures  of  gold  and  silver 
which  were  in  Baetra,  and  had  arranged  everything 
there,  he  led  his  army  back.  At  Ninus  Semiramis 
bore  him  a  son,  Ninyas,  and  at  his  death,  when  he 
had  reigned  52  years,  Ninus  bequeathed  to  her  the 
sovereign  power.  She  buried  his  corpse  in  the  royal 
palace,  and  caused  a  huge  mound  to  be  raised  over  the 
grave,  6000  feet  in  the  circuit  and  5400  feet  high, 
which  towered  over  the  city  of  Ninus  like  a  lofty 
citadel,  and  could  be  seen  far  through  the  plain  in 
which  Ninus  lay. 

As  Semiramis  was  ambitious,  and  desired  to  surpass 
the  fame  of  Ninus,  she  built  the  great  city  of  Babylon, 
with  mighty  walls  and  towers,  the  two  royal  citadels, 
the  bridge  over  the  Euphrates,  and  the  temple  of 
Belus,  and  caused  a  great  lake  to  be  excavated  to  draw 
oif  the  water  of  the  Euphrates.  Other  cities  also  she 
founded  on  the  Euphrates  and  the  Tigris,  and  caused 
depots  to  be  made  for  those  who  brought  merchandise 
from  Media,  Paraetacene,  and  the  bordering  countries. 
After  completing  these  works  she  marched  with  a  great 
army  to  Media  and  planted  the  garden  near  Mount 
Bagistanon.  The  steep  and  lofty  face  of  this  moun- 
tain, more  than  10,000  feet  in  height,  she  caused  to  be 
smoothed,  and  on  it  was  cut  her  picture  surrounded 
by  100  guards  ;  and  an  inscription  was  engraved  in 
Syrian  letters,  saying  that  Semiramis  had  caused  the 
pack-saddles  of  her  beasts  of  burden  to  be  piled  on 
each  other,  and  on  these  had  ascended  to  the  summit 
of  the  mountain.  Afterwards  she  made  another  large 
garden  near  the  city  of  Chauon,  in  Media,1  and  on  a 
rock  in  the  middle  of  it  she  erected  rich  and  costly 
buildings,  from  which  she  surveyed  the  blooming 

1  Stoph.  Byzant.     Xavuv,  x"''Pa  T 
H  &  Z{«ui£  tvTivQtv  i£i\avv(t   K.  r.  X. 


garden  and  the  army  encamped  in  the  plain.  Here 
she  remained  for  a  long  time,  and  gave  herself  up  to 
every  kind  of  pleasure.  She  was  unwilling  to  contract 
another  .marriage  from  fear  of  losing  the  sovereign 
power,  but  she  lived  with  any  of  her  warriors  who 
were  distinguished  for  their  beauty.  All  who  had 
enjoyed  her  favours  she  secretly  put  to  death.  After 
this  retirement  she  turned  her  course  to  Egbatana, 
caused  a  path  to  be  cut  through  the  rocks  of  Mount 
Zagrus,  and  a  short  and  convenient  road  to  be  made 
across  them,  in  order  to  leave  behind  an  imperishable 
memorial  of  her  reign.  In  Egbatana  she  erected  a 
splendid  palace,  and  in  order  to  provide  the  city  with 
water  she  caused  a  tunnel  to  be  made  through  the  lofty 
mountain  Orontes  at  its  base,  which  conveyed  the 
water  of  a  lake  lying  on  the  other  side  of  the  heights 
into  the  city.  After  this  she  marched  through  Persia 
and  all  the  countries  of  Asia  which  were  subject  to 
her,  and  caused  the  mountains  to  be  cut  through  and 
straight  and  level  roads  to  be  built  everywhere,  while 
in  the  plains  she  at  one  place  raised  great  mounds  over 
her  dead  generals,  and  in  another  built  cities  on  hills ; 
and  wherever  the  army  was  encamped  eminences  were 
raised  for  her  tent  so  that  she  might  overlook  the  whole. 
Of  these  works  many  are  still  remaining  in  Asia  and 
bear  the  name  of  Semiramis.  Then  she  subjugated 
Egypt,1  a  great  part  of  Libya,  and  nearly  the  whole  of 
Ethiopia,  and  finally  returned  to  Bactra. 

A  long  period  of  peace  ensued,  till  she  resolved  to 
subjugate  the  Indians  on  hearing  that  they  were  the 
most  numerous  of  all  nations,  and  possessed  the  largest 
and  most  beautiful  country  in  the  world.  For  two 
years  preparations  were  made  throughout  her  whole 

1  Diod.  i,  56. 


kingdom ;  in  the  third  year  she  collected  in  Bactria 
3,000,000  foot  soldiers,  500,000  horsemen,  and  100,000 
chariots.     Beside  these,  100,000  camels  were  covered 
with   the   sewn  skins  of  black  oxen,  and  each   was 
mounted  by  one  warrior ;  these  animals  were  intended 
to  pass  for  elephants  with  the  Indians.     For  crossing 
the  Indus  2000  ships  were  built,  then  taken  to  pieces 
again,    and    the    various    parts    packed   on    camels. 
Stabrobates,  the   king   of  the    Indians,    awaited    the 
Assyrians  on  the  bank  of  the  Indus.     He  also  had 
prepared  for  the  war  with  all  his  power,  and  gathered 
together  even  a  larger  force  from  the  whole  of  India. 
When  Semiramis  approached  he  sent   messengers   to 
meet  her  with  the  complaint  that  she  was  making  war 
upon  him  though  he  had  done  her  no  wrong ;  and  in 
his  letter  he  reproached  her  licentious  life,  and  calling 
the  gods  to  witness,  threatened  to  crucify  her  if  vic- 
torious.    Semiramis  read  the  letter,  laughed,  and  said 
that   the    Indians  would  find  out  her  virtue  by  her 
actions.     The  fleet  of  the  Indians  lay  ready  for  battle 
on  the  Indus.     Semiramis  caused  her  ships  to  be  put 
together,  manned  them  with  her  bravest  warriors,  and, 
after  a  long  and  stubborn  contest,  the  victory  fell  to 
her  share.     A  thousand  ships  of  the  Indians  were  sunk 
and  many  prisoners  taken.     Then  she  also  took  the 
islands  and  cities  on  the  river,  and  out  of  these  she 
collected  more  than  100,000  prisoners.     But  the  king 
of  the  Indians,  pretending  flight,  led  his  army  back 
from  the  Indus;  in  reality  he  wished  to  induce  the 
enemy  to   cross   the   Indus.      As   matters   succeeded 
according  to  her  wishes,  Semiramis  caused  a  large  and 
broad  bridge  to  be  thrown  skilfully  over  the  Indus, 
and  on  this  her  whole  army  passed  over.     Leaving 
60,000  men  to  protect  the  bridge,  she  pursued  the 
Indians  with  the  rest  of  her  army,  and  sent  on  in  front 


the  camels  clothed  as  elephants.  At  first  the  Indians 
did  not  understand  whence  Semiramis  could  have 
procured  so  many  elephants  and  were  alarmed.  But 
the  deception  could  not  last.  Soldiers  of  Semiramis, 
who  were  found  careless  on  the  watch,  deserted  to  the 
enemy  to  escape  punishment,  and  betrayed  the  secret. 
Stabrobates  proclaimed  it  at  once  to  his  whole  army, 
caused  a  halt  to  be  made,  and  offered  battle  to  the 
Assyrians.  When  the  armies  approached  each  other 
the  kino:  of  the  Indians  ordered  his  horsemen  and 


chariots  to  make  the  attack.  Semiramis  sent  against 
them  her  pretended  elephants.  When  the  cavalry  of 
the  Indians  came  up  their  horses  started  back  at  the 
strange  smell,  part  of  them  dislodged  their  riders, 
others  refused  to  obey  the  rein.  Taking  advantage  of 
this  moment,  Semiramis,  herself  on  horseback,  pressed 
forward  with  a  chosen  band  of  men  upon  the  Indians, 
and  turned  them  to  flight.  Stabrobates  was  still 
unshaken;  he  led  out  his  elephants,  and  behind  them 
his  infantry.  Himself  on  the  right  wing,  mounted  on  the 
best  elephant,  he  chanced  to  come  opposite  Semiramis. 
He  made  a  resolute  attack  upon  the  queen,  and  was 
followed  by  the  rest  of  the  elephants.  The  soldiers  of 
Semiramis  resisted  only  a  short  time.  The  elephants 
caused  an  immense  slaughter  ;  the  Assyrians  left  their 
ranks,  they  fled,  and  the  king  pressed  forward  against 
Semiramis ;  his  arrow  wounded  her  arm,  and  as  she 
turned  away  his  javelin  struck  her  on  the  back.  She 
hastened  away,  while  her  people  were  crushed  and 
trodden  down  by  their  own  numbers ;  and  at  last,  as 
the  Indians  pressed  upon  them,  were  forced  from  the 
bridge  into  the  river.  As  soon  as  Semiramis  saw  the 
greater  part  of  her  army  on  the  nearer  bank,  she  caused 
the  cables  to  be  cut  which  held  the  bridge ;  the  force 
of  the  stream  tore  the  beams  asunder,  and  many 


Assyrians  who  were  on  the  bridge  were  plunged  in  the 
river.  The  other  Assyrians  were  now  in  safety,  the 
wounds  of  Semiramis  were  not  dangerous,  and  the 
king  of  the  Indians  was  warned  by  signs  from  heaven 
and  their  interpretation  by  the  seers  not  to  cross  the 
river.  After  exchanging  prisoners  Semiramis  returned 
to  Bactra.  She  had  lost  two-thirds  of  her  army. 

Some  time  afterwards  she  was  attacked  by  a  con- 
spiracy, which  her  own  son  Ninyas  set  on  foot  against 
her  by  means  of  an  eunuch.  Then  she  remembered  a 
prophecy  given  to  her  in  the  temple  of  Zeus  Ammon 
during  the  campaign  in  Libya;  that  when  her  son 
Ninyas  conspired  against  her  she  would  disappear  from 
the  sight  of  men,  and  the  honours  of  an  immortal  would 
be  paid  to  her  by  some  nations  of  Asia.  Hence  she 
cherished  no  resentment  against  Ninyas,  but,  on  the 
contrary,  transferred  to  him  the  kingdom,  ordered  her 
viceroys  to  obey  him,  and  soon  after  put  herself  to  death, 
as  though,  according  to  the  oracle,  she  had  raised  herself 
to  the  gods.  Some  relate  that  she  was  changed  into  a 
dove,  and  flew  out  of  the  palace  with  a  flock  of  doves. 
Hence  it  is  that  the  Assyrians  regard  Semiramis  as  an 
immortal,  and  the  dove  as  divine.  She  was  62  years 
old,  and  had  reigned  42  years. 

The  preceding  narrative,  which  is  from  Diodorus,  is 
borrowed  in  essentials  from  the  Persian  history  of 
Ctesias,  who  lived  for  some  time  at  the  Persian  Court 
in  the  first  two  decades  of  the  reign  of  Artaxerxes 
Mnemon  (405 — 361  B.C.).  On  the  end  of  Semiramis 
the  account  of  Ctesias  contained  more  details  than  the 
account  of  Diodorus.  This  is  made  clear  by  some 
fragments  from  Ctesias  preserved  by  other  writers. 
In  Nicolaus  of  Damascus  we  are  told  that  after  the 
Indian  war  Semiramis  marched  through  the  land 
of  the  Medes.  Here  she  visited  a  very  lofty  and 


precipitous  mountain,  which  could  only  be  ascended  on 
one  side.  On  this  she  at  once  caused  an  abode  to  be 
built  from  which  to  survey  her  army. 

While  encamped  here,  Satibaras  the  eunuch  told 
the  sons  of  Onnes,  Hyapates  and  Hydaspes,  that 
Ninyas  would  put  them  to  death  if  he  ascended  the 
throne ;  they  must  anticipate  him  by  removing  their 
mother  and  Ninyas  out  of  the  way,  and  possessing 
themselves  of  the  sovereign  power.  Moreover,  it  was 
to  their  great  dishonour  to  be  spectators  of  the  licen- 
tiousness of  their  mother,  who,  even  at  her  years,  daily 
desired  every  youth  that  came  in  her  way.  The 
matter,  he  said,  was  easy  of  accomplishment ;  when  he 
summoned  them  to  the  queen  (he  was  entrusted  with 
this  business)  they  could  come  to  the  summit  of  the 
mountain  and  throw  their  mother  down  from  it. 
But  it  happened  that  behind  the  altar,  near  which  they 
held  this  conversation,  a  Mede  was  lying,  who  over- 
heard them.  He  wrote  down  everything  on  a  skin 
and  sent  it  to  Semiramis.  When  she  had  read  it  she 
caused  the  sons  of  Onnes  to  be  summoned,  and  gave 
strict  orders  that  they  should  come  in  arms.  Delighted 
that  the  deity  favoured  the  undertaking,  Satibaras 
fetched  the  young  men.  When  they  appeared  Semi- 
ramis bade  the  eunuch  step  aside,  and  then  she  spoke  to 
them :  "  You  worthless  sons  of  an  honest  and  brave 
father  have  allowed  yourselves  to  be  persuaded  by  a 
worthless  slave  to  throw  down  from  this  height  your 
mother,  who  holds  her  empire  from  the  gods,  in  order 
to  obtain  glory  among  men,  and  to  rule  after  the  murder 
of  your  mother  and  your  brother  Ninyas.  Then  she 
spoke  to  the  Assyrians." l  Here  the  fragment  of  Nicolaus 
breaks  off.  From  the  fragments  of  Cephalion  we  may 
gather  that  the  sons  of  Onnes  were  put  to  death  by 

1  Frag.  7,  ed.  Miiller. 


Semiramis.  Yet  Cephalion  gave  a  different  account  of 
the  death  of  Semiramis  from  Ctesias  ;  according  to  him 
Ninyas  slew  her.1  In  Ctesias,  as  is  clear  from  the 
account  of  Diodorus  and  other  remains  of  Ctesias, 
nothing  was  spoken  of  beyond  the  conspiracy  which 
Ninyas  prepared  against  her.2 

After  the  death  of  Semiramis,  so  Diodorus  con- 
tinues his  narrative,  Ninyas  ruled  in  peace,  for  he 
by  no  means  emulated  his  mother's  military  ambition 
and  delight  in  danger.  He  remained  always  in  the 
palace,  was  seen  by  no  one  but  his  concubines  and 
eunuchs,  took  upon  himself  no  care  or  trouble, 
thought  only  of  pleasure  and  pastime,  considered  it  the 
object  of  sovereign  power  to  give  himself  up  undis- 
turbed to  all  sorts  of  enjoyment.  His  seclusion  served 
to  hide  his  excesses  in  obscurity  ;  he  seemed  like  an  in- 
visible God,  whom  no  one  ventured  to  offend  even  in 
word.  In  order  to  preserve  his  kingdom  he  put  leaders 
over  the  army,  viceroys,  judges,  and  magistrates  over 
every  nation,  and  arranged  everything  as  seemed  most 
useful  to  himself.  To  keep  his  subjects  in  fear  he 
caused  each  nation  to  provide  a  certain  number  of 
soldiers  every  year,  and  these  were  quartered  together 
in  a  camp  outside  the  city,  and  placed  under  the 
command  of  men  most  devoted  to  himself.  At  the 
end  of  the  year  they  were  dismissed  and  replaced  by 
others  to  the  same  number.  Hence  his  subjects  always 
saw  a  great  force  in  the  camp  ready  to  punish  dis- 
obedience or  defection.  In  the  same  way  his  descend- 
ants also  reigned  for  30  generations,  till  the  empire 
passed  to  the  Medes.3  Slightly  differing  from  this 
account,  Nicolaus  tells  us  that  Sardanapalus — to  whom 
in  the  order  of  succession  the  kingdom  of  Ninus  and 

1  Frag.  1,  2,  ed.  M Her;  cf.  Justin.  1,  1. 

2  Anonym,  tract.  "  De  Mulier."  c.  1.  3  Diod.  2,  21. 


Semiramis  finally  descended — neither  carried  arms 
nor  went  out  to  the  hunting-field,  like  the  kings  in 
old  times,  but  always  remained  in  his  palace.  Yet 
even  in  his  time  the  old  arrangements  were  kept  and 
the  satraps  of  the  subject  nations  gathered  with  the 
fixed  contingent  at  the  gate  of  the  king.1 

From  what  source  is  the  narrative  of  Ninus  and 
Semiramis  derived?  what  title  to  credibility  can  be 
allowed  it  ?  Herodotus  states  that  the  dominion  of 
the  Assyrians  in  Asia  was  the  oldest ;  their  supremacy 
was  followed  by  that  of  the  Medes,  and  the  supremacy 
of  the  Medes  was  followed  by  the  kingdom  of  the 
Achsemenids.  Herodotus  too  is  acquainted  with  the 
name  of  Semiramis ;  he  represents  her  as  ruling  over 
Babylon,  and  building  wonderful  dykes  in  the  level 
land,  which  the  river  had  previously  turned  into  a 
lake.2  Strabo  tells  of  the  citadels,  cities,  mountain- 
roads,  aqueducts,  bridges,  and  canals  which  Semiramis 
constructed  through  all  Asia,  and  to  Semiramis  Lucian 
traces  back  the  old  temples  of  Syria.3  We  may  assume 
in  explanation  that  the  tradition  of  Hither  Asia  has 
ascribed  to  the  first  king  and  queen  of  Assyria  the  con- 
struction of  the  ancient  road  over  the  Zagrus,  of  old 
dykes  and  aqueducts  in  the  land  of  the  Euphrates  and 
Tigris,  the  building,  not  of  Nineveh  only,  but  also  of 
Babylon,  the  erection  of  the  great  monuments  of  for- 
gotten kings  of  Babylon, — as  a  fact,  Assyrian  kings 
built  in  Babylon  also  in  the  seventh  century.  "VVe  may 
find  it  conceivable  that  this  tradition  has  gathered 
together  and  carried  back  to  the  time  of  the  founda- 
tion all  that  memory  retained  of  the  acts  of  Assyrian 
rulers,  the  campaigns  of  conquest  of  a  long  series  of  war- 
like and  mighty  sovereigns,  the  sum  total  of  the  exploits 

1  Nicol.  Frag.  8,  ed.  Miiller.  2  1,  184. 

3  Strabo,  pp.  80,  529,  737 ;  Lucian,  "  de  Syria  dea,"  c.  14. 


to  which  Assyria  owed  her  supremacy.  Yet  against 
such  an  origin  of  this  narrative  doubts  arise  not  easy 
to  be  removed.  It  is  true  that  when  this  tradition 
explains  the  mode  of  life  and  the  clothing;  of  the  kings 

•i.  O  O 

of  Asia,  and  the  clothing  of  the  Medes  and  Persians, 
from  the  example  of  Semiramis,  who  wore  in  the  camp 
a  robe,  half  male  and  half  female  (p.  6) ;  when  this 
tradition  derives  the  inaccessibility  of  the  kings  of  Asia 
and  their  seclusion  in  the  palace  from  the  fact  that 
Ninyas  wished  to  hide  his  excesses,  and  appear  to  his 
subjects  as  a  higher  being, — traits  of  this  kind  can  be 
set  aside  as  additions  of  the  Greeks.  To  the  Babylon- 
ians and  Assyrians,  the  Medes  and  Persians,  the  life 
and  clothing  of  their  rulers  could  not  appear  con- 
temptible or  remarkable,  nor  their  own  clothing  half 
effeminate,  though  the  Greeks  might  very  well  search 
for  an  explanation  of  customs  so  different  from  their 
own,  and  find  them  in  the  example  and  command  of 
Semiramis,  and  the  example  of  Ninyas.  And  if  in 
Herodotus  the  empire  of  the  Assyrians  over  Asia 
appears  as  a  hegemony  of  confederates,1  this  idea  is 
obviously  borrowed  from  Greek  models.  The  opposite 
statement  of  the  division  of  the  Assyrian  kingdom  into 
satrapies,  the  yearly  change  of  the  contingents  of 
troops,  comes  from  Ctesias,  who  transferred  the  arrange- 
ments of  the  Persian  kingdom,  with  which  he  was 
acquainted,  to  their  predecessors,  the  kingdom  of  the 
Assyrians,  or  found  this  transference  made  in  his 
authorities,  Persian  or  Mede,  and  copied  it. 

Yet,  after  making  as  much  allowance  as  we  can  for 
the  amalgamating  influence  of  native  tradition,  after 
going  as  far  as  we  can  in  setting  apart  what  may  be 
due  to  the  Greeks,  how  could  such  an  accurate 

1  Herod.  1,  102. 


narrative,  so  well  acquainted  with  every  detail  of  the 
siege  of  Bactra,  and  the  battle  on  the  Indus,  have 
been  preserved  for  many  centuries  in  the  tradition  of 
Hither  Asia,  retained  even  after  the  overthrow  of 
Assyria,  and  down  to  the  date  when  curious  Greeks,  200 
years  after  the  fall  of  Nineveh,  reached  the  Euphrates 
and  Tigris  "?  We  possess  a  positive  proof  that  about  this 
time,  in  the  very  place  to  which  this  tradition  must  have 
clung  most  tenaciously,  within  the  circuit  of  the  old 
Assyrian  country,  no  remembrance  of  that  mighty  past 
was  in  existence.  When,  in  the  year  401  B.C.,  Xenophon 
with  his  10,000  marched  past  the  ruins  of  the  ancient 
cities  of  the  Assyrian  kingdom,  the  ruius  of  Asshur, 
Chalah,  and  Nineveh,  before  Ctesias  wrote,  he  was 
merely  told  that  these  were  cities  of  the  Medes  which 
could  not  be  taken ;  into  one  of  them  the  queen  of 
the  Medes  had  fled  before  the  Persian  king,  and  the 
Persians,  with  the  help  of  heaven,  took  and  destroyed 
it  when  they  gained  the  dominion  over  Media.1  From 
the  Assyrians,  therefore,  Herodotus  and  Ctesias  could 
not  have  obtained  the  information  given  in  their 
statements  about  Ninus  and  Semiramis,  nor  could  their 
knowledge  have  come  from  the  Babylonians.  The 
tradition  of  Babylonia  would  never  have  attributed 
the  mighty  buildings  of  that  city  and  land  to  the  queen 
of  another  nation,  to  which  Babylon  had  succumbed. 
Hence  the  account  of  the  Greeks  about  Assyria  and  her 
rulers  could  only  come  from  the  Medes  and  Persians. 
But  our  narrative  ascribes  to  Semiramis  even  the 
great  buildings  of  the  Median  rulers,  the  erection  of 
the  royal  citadel  of  Egbatana,  the  residence  of  the 
Median  kings ;  the  parks  and  rock  sculptures  of  Media, 
even  the  rock  figure  on  Mount  Bagistanon  (p.  7).  This 

1  Xenoph.  "Anab."  3,  4,  6—10. 


sculpture  in  the  valley  of  the  Choaspes  on  the  rock- wall 
of  Bagistan  (Behistun)  is  in  existence.  The  wall  is 
not  10,000  but  only  1500  feet  high.  It  is  not  Semira- 
mis  who  is  pourtrayed  in  those  sculptures,  but  Darius, 
the  king  of  Persia,  and  before  him  are  the  leaders 
of  the  rebellious  provinces.  It  was  the  proudest 
monument  of,  victory  in  all  the  history  of  Persia. 
Would  a  Persian  have  shown  this  to  a  Greek  as  a 
monument  of  Semiramis  ?  It  would  rather  be  a  Mede, 
who  would  wish  to  hide  from  the  Greeks  that  Media 
was  among  the  provinces  a  second  time  conquered 
and  brought  to  subjection. 

The  difficulty  of  ascertaining  the  sources  of  our 
narrative  is  still  further  increased  in  no  inconsiderable 
degree  by  the  fact  that  the  books  of  Ctesias  are  lost, 
and  that  Diodorus  has  not  drawn  immediately  from 
them,  but  from  a  reproduction  of  Ctesias'  account  of 
Assyria.  Yet  the  express  references  to  the  statements  of 
Ctesias  which  Diodorus  found  in  his  authority,  as  well 
as  fragments  relating  to  the  subject  which  have  been 
elsewhere  preserved,  allow  us  to  fix  with  tolerable 
accuracy  what  belongs  to  Ctesias  in  this  narrative, 
and  what  Clitarchus,  the  renewer  of  his  work,  whom 
Diodorus  had  before  him,  has  added.1  It  is  Ctesias  who 

1  Diodorus  tells  us  himself  (2,  7)  that  in  writing  the  first  30  chapters 
of  his  second  book  he  had  before  him  the  book  of  Clitarchus  on 
Alexander.  Carl  Jacoby  (loc,  cit.) — by  a  comparison  with  the  state- 
ments in  point  in  Curtius,  who  transcribed  Clitarchus,  and  by  the  proof 
that  certain  passages  in  the  narrative  of  Diodorus  which  relate  to 
Bactria  and  India  are  in  agreement  with  passages  in  the  seventeenth 
book,  in  which  Diodorus  undoubtedly  follows  Clitarchus  ;  that  certain 
observations  in  the  description  of  Babylon  in  Diodorus  can  only 
belong  to  Alexander  and  his  nearest  successors  ;  that  certain  prepara- 
tions of  Semiramis  for  the  Indian  campaign  agree  with  certain 
preparations  of  Alexander  for  his  Indian  campaign,  and  certain 
incidents  in  Alexander's  battle  against  Porus  with  certain  incidents 
in  the  battle  of  Semiramis  against  Stabrobates;  and  finally  by 
showing  that  the  situation  of  the  ancient  Nineveh  was  unknown  to 
VOL.  ir.  C 


enumerates  the  nations  which  Ninus  subdued  (p.  3). 
With  him  Semiramis  was  the  daughter  of  a  Syrian 
and  Derceto,  who  throws  herself  into  the  lake  of  Ascalon, 
and  is  then  worshipped  as  a  goddess  there.1  To  Ctesias 
belongs  the  nourishment  of  the  child  Semiramis  by 
the  doves  of  the  goddess,  her  rise  from  the  shepherd's 
hut  to  the  throne  of  Assyria.  He  represents  her  as 
raising  the  mountain  or  the  tomb  of  Ninus  ;  he  ascribes 

o  • 

to  her  the  building  of  Babylon,  its  mighty  walls  and 
royal  citadels,  the  aqueducts,  and  the  great  temple  of 
Bel.  He  represented  her  as  marching  to  the  Indus  2 
and  afterwards  towards  Media  ;  as  making  gardens 
there  and  building  the  road  over  the  Zagrus.  He 
'  represented  her  as  raising  the  mounds  over  the  graves 

the  historians  of  the  time  of  Alexander,  who  "were  on  the  other  hand 
acquainted  •with  a  Nineveh  on  the  Euphrates  (Hierapolis,  Mabog  ; 
Plin.  "Hist.  Nat."  5,  23;  Ammian.  Marcell.  14,  8,  7)— has  made  it  at 
least  very  probable  that  Diodorus  had  Ctesias  before  him  in  the 
revision  of  Clitarchus.  We  may  allow  that  Olitarchus  brought  the 
Bactrian  Oxyartes  into  the  narrative,  unless  we  ought  to  read  Exaortes 
in  Diodorus  ;  but  that  the  name  of  the  king  in  Ctesias  was  Zoroaster 
is  in  my  opinion  very  doubtful.  The  sources  of  Ctesias  were  stories 
related  by  Persians  or  Medes  from  the  epic  of  West  Iran.  That  this 
should  put  Zoroaster  at  the  time  of  Ninus,  and  make  him  king  of 
the  Bactrians,  in  order  to  allow  him  to  be  overthrown  by  the  Assyrians, 
is  very  improbable.  Whether  Ctesias  ascribed  to  Semira:ms  the  building 
of  Egbatana  is  also  very  doubtful ;  that  he  mentioned  her  stay  in 
Media,  and  ascribed  to  her  the  building  of  the  road  over  the  Zagrua 
and  the  planting  of  gardens,  follows  from  the  quotation  of  Stephanus 
given  above.  Ctesias  has  not  ascribed  to  her  the  hanging  gardens  at 
Babylon.  Diodorus  makes  them  the  work  of  a  later  Syrian  king,  whom 
Ctesias  would  certainly  have  called  king  of  Assyria.  Ctesias  too  can 
hardly  have  ascribed  to  her  the  obelisk  at  Babylon  (Diod.  2,  11) ;  so 
at  least  the  addition  of  Diodorus,  "that  it  belonged  to  the  seven 
wonders,"  seems  to  me  to  prove. 

1  "  Catasterism."  c.  38;  Hygin.  "  Astronom."  2,  41.     In  Diodorus 
Aphrodite,  enraged  by  a  maiden,  Derceto,  imbues  her  with  a  fierce 
passion  for  a  youth.    In  shame  she  slays  the  youth,  exposes  the  child, 
throws  herself  into  the  lake  of  Ascalon,  and  is  changed  into  a  fish. 
For  this  reason  the  image  of  the  goddess  Derceto  at  Ascalon  has  tho 
face  of  a  woman  and  the  body  of  a  fish  (2,  4). 

2  Diod.  2,  17,  init. 


of  her  lovers  ; 1  he  told  of  her  sensuality,  of  the  designs 
of  her  sons  by  the  first  marriage,  and  the  plot  of 
Ninyas ;  he  recounted  her  end,  which  was  as  marvel- 
lous as  her  birth  and  her  youth :  she  flew  out  of  the 
palace  up  to  heaven  with  a  flock  of  doves.  If  the 
conquest  of  Egypt  by  Semiramis  also  belongs  to  Ctesias,2 
the  march  through  Libya,  and  the  oracle  given  to  her 
in  the  oasis  of  Ammon,  together  with  the  version  of 
her  death,  which  rests  on  this  oracle  (she  caused  her- 
self to  disappear,  i.  e.  put  herself  to  death,  in  order  to 
share  in  divine  honours),  belong  to  Clitarchus. 

If,  therefore,  we  may  regard  it  as  an  established  fact 
that  our  narrative  has  not  arisen  out  of  Assyrian  or  Baby- 
lonian tradition,  that  the  views  and  additions  of  Greek 
origin  introduced  into  it  leave  the  centre  untouched  ; 
if  we  have  succeeded  in  discovering,  to  a  tolerably 
satisfactory  degree,  the  outlines  of  the  narrative  of 
Ctesias,  the  main  question  still  remains  to  be 
answered :  from  what  sources  is  this  narrative  to  be 
derived  ?  In  the  first  attempt  to  criticise  this  account 
we  find  ourselves  astonished  by  the  certainty  of  the 
statements,  the  minute  and,  in  part,  extremely  vivid 
descriptions  of  persons  and  incidents.  Not  only  the 
great  prince  who  founded  the  power  of  Assyria,  and 
the  queen  whose  beauty  and  courage  enchanted  him, 
are  known  to  Ctesias  in  their  words  and  actions. 
He  can  mention  by  name  the  man  who  nurtured 
Semiramis  as  a  girl,  and  her  first  husband.  He 
knows  the  names  of  the  princes  of  the  Arabs,  Medes, 
Bactrians,  and  Indians  with  whom  Ninus  and  Semi- 
ramis had  to  do.  The  number  of  the  forces  set  in 
motion  against  Bactria  and  India  are  given  accurately 
according  to  the  weapon  used.  The  arrangements 
of  the  battle  beyond  the  Indus,  the  progress  of  the 

1  Georg.  Syncell.  p.  119,  ed.  Bonn.  2  Diod.  1,  56. 



fight,  the  wounds  carried  away  by  Semiramis,  the 
exchange  of  prisoners,  are  related  with  the  fidelity 
of  an  eye-witness.  Weight  is  obviously  laid  on  the 
fact  that  after  Semiramis  had  conquered  and  tra- 
versed Egypt  and  Ethiopia,  after  her  unbroken  success, 
the  last  great  campaign  against  the  Indians  fails 
because  she  attacked  them  without  receiving  any  pre- 
vious injury.  The  message  which  Stabrobates  sends 
to  her,  the  letter  which  he  writes,  the  reproaches  he 
makes  upon  her  life,  the  minute  details  which  Ctesias 
gives  of  the  relation  of  Onnes  to  Semiramis,  of  the 
conspiracy  of  the  sons  by  this  marriage,  who  felt 
themselves  dishonoured  by  the  conduct  of  their  now 
aged  mother,  of  the  letter  of  the  Mede,  whose  fidelity 
discovered  the  plot  to  her,  of  the  speeches  which 
Semiramis  made  on  this  occasion,  carry  us  back  to  a 
description  at  once  vivid  and  picturesque.  If  we  take 
these  pictures  together  with  the  account  of  Ctesias 
about  the  decline  of  the  Assyrian  kingdom,  in  which 
also  very  characteristic  details  appear,  if  we  consider  the 
style  and  the  whole  tone  of  these  accounts  of  the  begin- 
ning and  the  end  of  the  Assyrian  kingdom,  we  cannot 
avoid  the  conclusion  that  Ctesias  has  either  invented 
the  whole  narrative  or  followed  a  poetic  source. 

The  first  inference  is  untenable,  because  the  whole 
narrative  bears  the  colour  and  stamp  of  the  East  in 
such  distinctness  that  Ctesias  cannot  have  invented  it, 
and,  on  the  other  hand,  it  contains  so  much  poetry 
that  if  Ctesias  were  the  author  of  these  descriptions 
we  should  have  to  credit  him  with  high  poetic  gifts. 
We  are,  therefore,  driven  to  adopt  the  second  inference 
— that  a  poetic  source  lies  at  the  base  of  his  account. 
If,  as  was  proved  above,  neither  Assyrian  nor  Baby- 
lonian traditions  can  be  taken  into  consideration, 
Assyrian  and  Babylonian  poems  are  by  the  same 


reasoning  put  out  of  the  question.  On  the  other  hand, 
we  find  in  Ctesias'  history  of  the  Medes  episodes  of  at 
least  equal  poetic  power  with  his  narrative  of  Ninus 
and  Semiramis.  Plutarch  tells  us  that  the  great  deeds 
of  Semiramis  were  praised  in  songs.1  It  is  certain  that 
they  could  not  be  the  songs  of  Assyria,  which  had  long 
since  passed  away,  but  we  find,  on  the  other  hand, 
that  there  were  minstrels  at  the  court  of  the  Medes, 
who  sang  to  the  kings  at  the  banquet ;  it  is,  moreover, 
a  Mede  who  warns  Semiramis  against  Hyapates  and 
Hydaspes ;  and  the  other  names  in  the  narrative  of 
Ctesias  bear  the  stamp  of  the  Iranian  language. 
Further,  we  find,  not  only  in  the  fragments  of  Ctesias 
which  have  come  down  to  us,  but  also  in  the  narratives 
of  Herodotus  and  other  Greeks  concerning  the  fortunes 
of  the  Medes  and  Persians  down  to  the  great  war  of 
Xerxes  against  the  Hellenes,  remains  and  traces  of 
poems  which  can  only  have  been  sung  amongst  the 
Medes  and  Persians.  We  have,  therefore,  good  grounds 
for  assuming  that  it  was  Medo-Persian  poems  which 
could  tell  the  story  of  Ninus  and  Semiramis,  and  that 
this  part  of  the  Medo-Persian  poems  was  the  source 
from  which  Ctesias  drew.  It  was  the  contents  of  these 
poems  recounted  to  him  by  Persians  or  Medes  which  he 
no  doubt  followed  in  this  case,  as  in  his  further  nar- 
ratives of  Parsondes  and  Sparethra,  of  the  rebellion  and 
struggle  of  Cyrus  against  Astyages,  just  as  Herodotus 
before  him  drew  from  such  poems  his  account  of  the 
rebellion  of  the  Magi,  the  death  of  Cambyses,  and  the 
conspiracy  of  the  seven  Persians. 

After  severe  struggles  the  princes  and  people  of 
the  Medes  succeeded  in  casting  down  the  Assyrian 
empire  from  the  supremacy  it  had  long  maintained ; 
they  conquered  arid  destroyed  their  old  and  supposed 

1  "  De  Iside,"  c.  24. 


impregnable  metropolis.     If  the  tribes  of  the  Medes 
had  previously  been  forced  to  bow  before  the  Assy- 
rians, they  took   ample   vengeance    for   the   degrad- 
ation.      Hence   the    Median    minstrels   had   a   most 
excellent  reason  to  celebrate  this  crowning  achievement 
of  their  nation ;   it  afforded  them  a  most  agreeable 
subject.     If,  in  the  earlier  and  later  struggles  of  the 
Medes  against  Assyria,  the  bravery  of  individual  heroes 
was  often  celebrated  in  song,  these  songs  might  by 
degrees  coalesce  into  a  connected  whole,  the  close  of 
which  was   the  overthrow   of  the    Assyrian   empire. 
The  Median  poems  which  dealt  with  this  most  attract- 
ive material  must  have  commenced  with  the  rise  of 
the  Assyrian  kingdom;  they  had  the  more  reason  for 
explaining   and   suggesting  motives  for  this  mighty 
movement,   as  it  was  incumbent   on  them  to  make 
intelligible  the  wreck  of  the  resistance  of  their  own 
nation  to  the  onset  of  the  Assyrians,  and  the  previous 
subjection  of  Media.     In  these  poems  no  doubt  they 
described  the  cruelty  of  the  conqueror,  who  crucified 
their  king,  with  his  wife  and  seven  children  (p.  3). 
The  more  brilliant,  the  more  overpowering  the  might 
of  Assyria,  as  they  described  it,   owing  to  eminent 
sovereigns  in  the  earliest  times,  the  wider  the  extent 
of  the  empire,  the  more  easily  explained  and  tolerable 
became  the  subjection  of  the  Medes,  the  greater  the 
glory  to  have  finally  conquered.    This  final  retribution 
formed  the  close ;  the  striking  contrast  of  the  former 
exaltation  and  subsequent  utter  overthrow,  brought 
about  by  Median  power  and  bravery,  formed  the  centre 
of  these  poems. 

The  prince  of  the  Assyrians  whose  success  is  unfail- 
ing till  he  finds  himself  checked  in  Bactria,  the  woman 
of  unknown  origin  found  in  the  desert,  fostered  by 
herdsmen,  and  raised  from  the  lowest  to  the  most 


elevated  position,1  who  in  bravery  surpasses  the  oravest, 
who  outdoes  the  deeds  of  Ninus,  whose  charms  allure 
to  destruction  every  one  who  approaches  her,  who 
makes  all  whom  she  favours  her  slaves  in  order  to 
slay  them,  who  without  regard  to  her  years  makes 
every  youth  her  lover,  and  is,  nevertheless,  finally 
exalted  to  the  gods — are  these  forms  due  to  the  mere 
imagination  of  Medo-Persian  minstrels,  or  what  ma- 
terial lay  at  the  base  of  these  lively  pictures  ? 

The  metropolis  of  the  Assyrians  was  known  to  the 
Greeks  as  Ninus;  in  the  inscriptions  of  the  Assyrian 
kings  it  is  called  Ninua.  From  this  the  name  of  Ninus, 
the  founder  of  the  empire,  as  well  as  Ninyas,  is  obviously 
taken.  In  Herodotus a  and  the  chronographers  Ninus 
is  the  son  of  Belus,  i.  e.  of  Bel,  the  sky-god  already 
known  to  us  (I.  265).  The  monuments  of  Assyria  show 
us  that  the  Assyrians  worshipped  a  female  deity,  which 
was  at  once  the  war-goddess  and  goddess  of  sexual 
love — Istar-Bilit.  Istar  was  not  merely  the  goddess  of 
battles — bringing  death  and  destruction,  though  also 
conferring  victory ;  she  was  at  the  same  time  the 
goddess  of  sensual  love.  We  have  already  learned  to 
know  her  double  nature.  In  turn  she  sends  life, 
pleasure,  and  death.  If  Istar  of  Arbela  was  the  goddess 
of  battle,  Istar  of  Nineveh  was  the  goddess  of  love 
(I.  270).  As  the  goddess  of  love,  doves  were  sacred  to 
her.  In  the  temples  of  Syria  there  were  statues  of  this 
goddess  with  a  golden1  dove  on  the  head ;  she  was 
even  invoked  there  under  the  name  of  Semiramis,  a 
word  which  may  mean  High  name,  Name  of  the 

Thus  the  Medo-Persian  minstrels  have  changed  the 

i  Diod.  2,  4,  «n#.  2  Herod.  1,  7. 

3  Lucian,  "  De  Syria  dea,"  c.  33,  14,  38.    The  name  Semiramoth  is 
found  1  Chronicles  xv.  18,  20 ;  xvi.  5  ;  2,  xyii.  8. 


form  and  legend  of  a  goddess  who  was  worshipped  in 
Assyria,  whose  rites  were  vigorously  cultivated  in 
Syria,  into  a  heroine,  the  founder  of  the  Assyrian 
empire;  just  as  in  the  Greek  and  German  epos 
divine  beings  have  undergone  a  similar  change.  This 
heroine  is  the  daughter  of  a  maiden  who  slays  the 
youth  whom  she  has  made  happy  with  her  love,  who 
gave  her  her  daughter,  i.  e.  she  is  the  daughter  of  the 
goddess  herself.  Like  her  mother,  the  goddess,  the 
daughter,  Semiramis,  inspires  men  with  irresistible 
love,  and  thus  makes  them  her  slaves.  At  the  same 
time,  as  a  war-goddess,  she  surpasses  all  men  in 
martial  courage,  and  brings  death  to  all  who  have  sur- 
rendered to  her.  The  origin  of  the  goddess  thus 
transformed  into  a  heroine  is  unknown  and  super- 
natural ;  her  characteristics  are  marvellous  powers  of 
victory  and  charms  of  love.  The  neighbourhood  of 
Ascalon,  where  we  found  the  oldest  and  most  famous 
temples  of  the  Syrian  goddess  of  love  (I.  360),  was  the 
scene  of  the  origin  of  the  miraculous  child.  The  doves 
of  the  Syrian  goddess  nourish  and  protect  her  in  the 
desert.  She  grows  up  in  Syria,  where  the  worship  of 
the  goddess  of  sexual  love  was  widely  spread. 
Whether  Simmas,  her  foster-father,  has  arisen  out  of 
Samas,  the  sun-god  of  the  Semites,  and  Onnes,  the 
first  husband  of  Semiramis,  out  of  Anu,  the  god  of 
Babel  and  Asshur,  cannot  indeed  be  decided.  But  in 
her  relation  to  Onnes,  whom  her  charm  makes  her 
slave,  to  whom  she  brings  uninterrupted  success,  till 
in  despair  at  her  loss  he  takes  his  life,  the  Medo- 
Persian  minstrels  describe  the  glamour  of  love  and 
the  sensual  pleasure,  as  well  as  the  destruction  which 
proceeds  from  her,  in  the  liveliest  and  most  forcible 
manner.  Even  after  the  Indian  campaign  she  indulges 
her  passions,  and  then  puts  those  to  death  to  whom  she 


grants  her  favours.  In  this  life  the  poems  found  a 
motive  for  the  plots  of  her  sons,  from  which  she  was 
at  first  rescued  by  the  fidelity  of  a  Mede, — a  trait 
which  again  reveals  the  origin  of  the  poem.  As 
Semiramis  was  a  heroine  merely,  and  not  a  goddess,  t» 
the  minstrels,  they  could  represent  her  overthrow,  her 
defeat  and  wounds,  on  the  Indus,  which  afterwards 
was  the  limit  of  the  conquests  of  the  Medians  and 
Persians.  At  the  end  of  her  life  the  higher  style 
reappears,  the  supernatural  origin  comes  in  once  more. 
She  flies  out  of  the  palace  with  the  doves  of  Bilit,  which 
protected  her  childhood.  In  Ctesias  the  goddess  of 
Ascalon  is  Derceto,1  and  therefore  later  writers  could 
maintain  that  the  kings  of  Assyria,  the  descendants  or 
successors  of  Semiramis,  were  named  Dercetadae.2 

1  Ctesias  in  Strabo,  p.  785.  2  AgatHas,  2,  24. 



To  relegate  Ninus  and  Semiramis  with  all  their  works 
and  deeds  to  the  realm  of  fiction  may  appear  to 
be  a  startling  step,  going  beyond  the  limits  of  a 
prudent  criticism.  Does  not  Ctesias  state  accurately 
the  years  of  the  reigns :  Ninus  reigned,  according  to  his 
statement,  52  years  ;  Semiramis  was  62  years  old,  and 
reigned  42  years  ?  Do  not  the  chronographers  assure 
us  that  in  Otesias  the  successors  of  Ninus  and  Semi- 
ramis, from  Ninyas  to  Sardanapalus,  the  last  ruler  over 
Assyria,  34  kings,  were  enumerated,  and  the  length  of 
their  reigns  accurately  given,  and  has  not  Eusebius 
actually  preserved  this  list  ?  Since,  at  the  same  time, 
we  find  out,  through  Diodorus  and  the  chronographers, 
as  well  as  through  this  list,  that  Ctesias  fixed  the 
continuance  of  the  Assyrian  kingdom  at  more  than 
1300  years,  or  more  exactly  at  1306,  and  the  fall  of 
the  kingdom  took  place  according  to  his  reckoning  in 
the  year  883  B.C.,  Ninus  must  on  these  dates  have 
ascended  the  throne  in  the  year  2189  B.C.  (883  +  1306), 
and  the  reign  of  Semiramis  commenced  in  2137  B.C. 
(883  +  1254).  Eusebius  himself  puts  the  accession  of 
Ninus  at  2057  B.C.1 

1  Diod.2,21;  Euseb.  "Chron."  l,p.56;  2, p.  ll.ed.Schone;  Syncellus, 
"Chron."  1,  313,  314,  ed.  Bonn;  Brandis,  "Eer.  Assyr.  temper, 
emend."  p.  13  seq. 


If  in  spite  of  these  accurate  statements  we  persist  in 
refusing  to  give  credit  to  Ctesias,  Berosus  remains, 
who,  according  to  the  evidence  of  the  chronographers, 
dealt  with  the  rule  of  Semiramis  over  Assyria.  After 
mentioning  the  dynasty  of  the  Medes  which  reigned 
over  Babylon  from  2458 — 2224  B.C.,  the  dynasty  of 
the  Elamites  (2224—1976  B.C.),  of  the  Chaldaeans 
(1976 — 1518  B.C.),  and  of  the  Arabs,  who  are  said  to 
have  reigned  over  Babylon  from  the  year  1518  to  the 
year  1273  B.C.,  Berosus  mentioned  the  rule  of  Semi- 
ramis over  the  Assyrians.  "  After  this,"  so  we  find  it 
in  Polyhistor,  "Berosus  enumerates  the  names  of  45 
kings  separately,  and  allotted  to  them  526  years. 
After  them  there  was  a  king  of  the  Chaldaeans  named 
Phul,  and  after  him  Sennacherib,  the  king  of  the 
Assyrians,  whose  son,  Esarhaddon,  then  reigned  in  his 
place."1  If  we  take  these  45  kings  for  kings  of  Assyria, 
who  ruled  over  this  kingdom  after  Semiramis,  then,  by 
allowing  the  supplements  of  these  series  of  kings  previ- 
ously mentioned  (I.  247),  the  era  of  these  45  kings  will 
begin  in  the  year  1273  B.C.  and  end  in  747  B.C.,  and 
the  date  of  Semiramis  will  fall  immediately  before  the 
year  1273  B.C.  In  the  view  of  Herodotus,  Ninus  was 
at  the  head  of  the  Assyrian  empire,  but  not  Semiramis. 
As  already  observed  (p.  14),  he  mentions  Semiramis  as 
a  queen  of  Babylon,  and  does  not  place  her  higher 
than  the  middle  of  the  seventh  century  B.c;2  but  he 
regards  the  dominion  of  Assyria  over  Upper  Asia  as 
commencing  far  earlier.  Before  the  Persians  the 
Medes  ruled  over  Asia  for  156  years ;  before  them  the 
Assyrians  ruled  for  520  years ;  the  Medes  were  the 
first  of  the  subject  nations  who  rebelled  against  the 
Assyrians ;  the  rest  of  the  nations  followed  their 
example.  As  the  Median  empire  fell  before  the  attack 

»  Euseb.  "  Chron."  1,  p.  26,  ed.  Schone.-  *  1,  184,  187. 


of  the  Persians  in  558  B.C.,  the  beginning  of  the 
Median  empire  would  fall  in  the  year  714  B.C. 
(558  +  156),  and  consequently  the  beginning  of  the 
Assyrian  kingdom  in  the  year  1234  B.C.  (714  +  520), 
i.  e.  four  or  five  decades  later  than  Berosus  puts  the 
death  of  Semiramis.  For  the  date  of  the  beginning  of 
the  Assyrian  dominion  Herodotus  and  Berosus  would 
thus  be  nearly  in  agreement.  It  has  been  assumed 
that  the  45  kings  whom  the  latter  represents  as  follow- 
ing Semiramis  were  kings  of  Assyria,  who  ruled  at  the 
same  time  over  Babylon,  and  were  thus  regarded  as  a 
Babylonian  dynasty.  This  agreement  would  be  the 
more  definite  if  it  could  be  supposed  that,  accord- 
ing to  the  view  of  Herodotus,  the  beginning  of  the 
156  years  which  he  gives  to  the  Median  empire  was 
separated  by  an  interval  of  some  decades  from  the 
date  of  their  liberation  from  the  power  of  the  Assyr- 
ians. In  this  case  the  empire  of  the  Assyrians  over 
Asia  would  not  have  commenced  very  long  before  the 
year  1273  B.C.,  and  would  have  extended  from  that 
date  over  Babylonia.  In  complete  contradiction  to 
this  are  the  statements  of  Ctesias,  which  carry  us  back 
beyond  2000  B.C.  for  the  commencement  of  the  As- 
syrian empire.  They  cannot  be  brought  into  harmonA 
with  the  statements  of  Herodotus,  even  if  the  timf. 
allotted  by  Ctesias  to  the  Assyrian  empire  (1306  years) 
is  reckoned  from  the  established  date  of  the  conquest 
of  Nineveh  by  the  Medes  and  Babylonians  (607  B.C.). 
The  result  of  such  a  calculation  (607  +  1306)  carries  us 
back  to  1913  B.C.,  a  date  far  higher  than  Herodotus 
and  Berosus  give. 

Is  it  possible  in  any  other  way  to  approach  more 
closely  to  the  beginning  of  the  Assyrian  kingdom,  the 
date  of  its  foundation,  or  the  commencement  of  its 
conquests  ?  We  have  already  seen  how  the  Pharaohs 


of  Egypt,  after  driving  out  the  shepherds  in  the  six- 
teenth and  fifteenth  centuries  B.C.,  reduced  Syria  to 
subjection ;  how  the  first  and  third  Tuthmosis,  the 
second  and  third  Amenophis,  forced  their  way  beyond 
Syria  to  Naharina.  The  land  of  Naharina,  in  the 
inscriptions  of  these  kings,  was  certainly  not  the  Aram 
Naharaim,  the  high  land  between  the  Euphrates  and 
Tigris,  in  the  sense  of  the  books  of  the  Hebrews.  It 
was  not  Mesopotamia,  but  simply  "the  land  of  the 
stream  (Nahar)."  For  the  Hebrews  also  Nahar,  i.  e. 
river,  means  simply  the  Euphrates.  It  has  been  already 
shown  that  the  arms  of  the  Egyptians  hardly  went 
beyond  the  Chaboras  to  the  east ;  and  if  the  inscrip- 
tions of  Tuthmosis  III.  represent  him  as  receiving  on 
his  sixth  campaign  against  the  Syrians,  i.  e.  about  the 
year  1584  B.C.,  the  tribute  of  Urn  Assuru,  i.  e.  of  the 
chieftain  of  Asshur, consisting  of  50  minseof  lapis-lazuli; 
if  these  inscriptions  in  the  year  1579  once  more  men- 
tion among  the  tribute  of  the  Syrians  the  tribute  of 
this  prince  in  lapis-lazuli,  cedar-trunks,  and  other 
wood,  it  is  still  uncertain  whether  the  chief  of  the 
Assyrians  is  to  be  understood  by  this  prince.  Had 
Tuthmosis  III.  really  reached  and  crossed  the  Tigris, 
were  Assuru  Assyria,  then  from  the  description  of 
this  prince,  and  the  payment  of  tribute  in  lapis-lazuli 
and  cedar- trunks,  we  could  draw  the  conclusion  that 
Assyria  in  the  first  half  of  the  sixteenth  century 
B.C.  was  still  in  the  commencement  of  its  civilisation, 
whereas  we  found  above  that  as  early  as  the  beginning 
of  the  twentieth  century  B.C.  Babylonia  was  united 
into  a  mighty  kingdom,  and  had  made  considerable 
advance  in  the  development  of  her  civilisation. 

Our  hypothesis  was  that  the  Semites,  who  took 
possession  of  the  valley  of  the  Euphrates,  were  immi- 
grants from  the  south,  from  Arabia,  and  that  this  new 


population  forced  its  way  by  successive  steps  up  the 
river-valley.  We  were  able  to  establish  the  fact 
that  the  earliest  governments  among  the  immigrants 
were  formed  on  the  lower  course  of  the  Euphrates, 
and  that  the  centre  of  the  state  in  these  regions 
slowly  moved  upwards  towards  Babel.  We  found, 
further,  that  Semitic  tribes  went  in  this  direction  as 
far  as  the  southern  slope  of  the  Armenian  table-land.1 
In  this  way  the  region  on  the  Tigris,  afterwards  called 
Assyria,  was  reached  and  peopled  by  the  Semites. 
With  the  Hebrews  Asshur,  beside  Arphaxad  and 
Aram,  beside  Elam  and  Lud,  is  the  seed  of  Shem. 
"  From  Shinar "  (i.  e.  from  Babylonia),  we  are  told 
in  Genesis,  "  Asshur  went  forth  and  built  Nineveh, 
and  Kehoboth-Ir,  and  Chalah,  and  Resen  between 
Nineveh  and  Chalah,  which  is  the  great  city."  There 
is  no  reason  to  call  in  question  this  statement  that 
Assyria  was  peopled  and  civilised  from  Babylonia. 
Language,  writing,  and  religion  exhibit  the  closest 
relationship  and  agreement  between  Babylonia  and 

On  the  west  bank  of  the  Tigris,  some  miles  above 
the  confluence  of  the  Lesser  Zab,  at  the  foot  of  a  ridge 
of  hills,  lie  the  remains  of  an  ancient  city.  The  stamps 
on  the  tiles  of  these  ruins  tell  us  that  the  name  of  the 
city  was  Asshur.  Tiglath  Pilesar,  a  king  of  Assyria, 
the  first  of  the  name,  whose  reign,  though  we  cannot 
fix  the  date  precisely,  may  certainly  be  put  about  the 
year  1110  B.C.,  narrates  in  his  inscriptions  :  The  tem- 
ple of  the  gods  Ami  and  Bin,  which  Samsi-Bin,  the 
son  of  Ismidagon,  built  at  Asshur  641  years  previously, 
had  fallen  down ;  King  Assur-dayan  had  caused  the 
ruins  to  be  removed  without  rebuilding  it.  For  60 
years  the  foundations  remained  untouched ;  he,  Tiglath 

i  Vol.  i.  512. 


Pilesar,  restored  this  ancient  sanctuary.  Tiles  from  this 
ruin  on  the  Tigris,  from  this  city  of  Asshur,  establish 
also  the  fact  that  a  prince  named  Samsi-Bin,  son  of 
Ismidagon,  once  ruled  and  built  in  this  city  of  Asshur. 
They  have  the  inscription :  "  Samsi-Bin,  the  son  of 
Ismidagon,  built  the  temple  of  the  god  Asshur."1 
Hence  Samsi-Bin  built  temples  in  the  city  of  Asshur  to 
the  god  Asshur  as  well  as  to  the  gods  Anu  and  Bin. 
His  date  falls,  according  as  the  60  years  of  the  inscrip- 
tion of  Tiglath  Pilesar,  during  which  the  temple  of 
Anu  and  Bin  was  not  in  existence,  are  added  to  the 
space  of  641  years  or  included  in  them,  either  about 
the  year  1800  or  1740  B.C.;  the  date  of  his  father 
Ismidagon  about  the  year  1830  or  1770  B.C. 

In  any  case  it  is  clear  that  a  place  of  the  name  of 
Asshur,  the  site  of  which  is  marked  by  the  ruins  of 
Kileh-Shergat,  was  inhabited  about  the  year  1800 
B.C.,  and  that  about  this  time  sanctuaries  were  raised 
in  it.  The  name  of  the  place  was  taken  from  the 
god  specially  worshipped  there.  As  Babel  (Gate  of 
El)  was  named  after  the  god  El,  Asshur  was  named 
after  the  god  of  that  name.  The  city  was  Asshur's 
city,  the  land  Asshur's  land.  Beside  the  city  of 
Asshur,  about  75  miles  up  the  Tigris,  there  must  have 
been  at  the  time  indicated  a  second  place  of  the  name 
of  Ninua  (Nineveh),  the  site  of  which  is  marked  by  the 
ruins  of  Kuyundshik  and  Nebbi  Yunus  (opposite 
Mosul),  since,  according  to  the  statement  of  Shalmanesar 
I.,  king  of  Assyria,  Samsi-Bin  built  another  temple 
here  to  the  goddess  Istar.2  Ifemidagon,  as  well  as 
Samsi-Bin,  is  called  in  the  inscription  of  Tiglath 
Pilesar  I.  "  Patis  of  Asshur."  The  meaning  of  this 
title  is  not  quite  clear;  the  word  is  said  to  mean 
viceroy.  If  by  this  title  a  vice-royalty  over  the  land 

1  Menant,  "  Annal."  p.  18.  8  G.  Smith,  "Discov"  p.  249. 


of  Asshur  is  meant,  we  may  assume  that  Assyria  was  a 
colony  of  Babylonia — that  it  was  under  the  supremacy 
of  the  kings  of  Babylon,  and  ruled  by  their  viceroys. 
But  since  at  a  later  period  princes  of  Assyria  called 
themselves  "Patis  of  Asshur,"  as  well  as  "kings  of 
Asshur,"  the  title  may  be  explained  as  meaning  that 
the  old  princes  of  Assyria  called  themselves  viceroys 
of  the  god  of  the  land,  of  the  god  Asshur.  More- 
over, it  would  be  strange  that  a  colony  of  Babylonia, 
which  was  under  the  supremacy  of  that  country,  should 
make  its  protecting  god  a  deity  different  from  that 
worshipped  in  Babylonia. 

From  this  evidence  we  may  assume  that  about  the 
year  1800  B.C.  a  state  named  Asshur  grew  up  between 
the  Tigris  and  the  Lesser  Zab.  This  state  must  have 
passed  beyond  the  lower  stages  of  civilisation  at  the 
time  when  the  princes  erected  temples  to  their  gods  at 
more  than  one  chief  place  in  their  dominions,  when  they 
could  busy  themselves  with  buildings  in  honour  of  the 
gods  after  the  example  of  the  ancient  princes  of  Erech 
and  Nipur,  of  Hammurabi,  and  his  successors  at 
Babylon.  With  this  result  the  statements  in  the 
inscriptions  of  Tuthmosis  III.  do  not  entirely  agree. 
Two  hundred  years  after  the  time  of  Ismidagon  and 
Samsi-Bin  they  speak  only  of  the  chief  of  Asshur,  and 
of  tribute  in  lapis-lazuli  and  tree-trunks  ;  but  this 
divergence  is  not  sufficient  to  make  us  affirm  with  cer- 
tainty that  the  "  Assuru  "  of  Tuthmosis  has  no  refer- 
ence whatever  to  Assyria.  If  we  were  able  to  place  the 
earliest  formation  of  a  state  on  the  Lower  Euphrates 
about  the  year  2500  B.C.,  the  beginnings  of  Assyria, 
according  to  the  inferences  to  be  drawn  from  the  evi- 
dence of  the  first  Tiglath  Pilesar  and  the  tiles  of 
Kileh-Shergat,  could  not  be  placed  later  than  the  year 
2000  B.C. 


Beside  Ismidagon  and  Samsi-Bin,  the  inscriptions 
of  Tiglath  Pilesar  and  the  tiles  of  the  ruins  of  Kileh- 
Shergat  mention  four  or  five  other  names  of  princes  who 
belong  to  the  early  centuries  of  the  Assyrian  empire, 
but  for  whom  we  cannot  fix  any  precise  place.  The 
date  of  the  two  kings,  who  on  Assyrian  tablets  are 
the  contemporaries  of  Binsumnasir  of  Babylon,  Assur- 
nirar,  and  Nabudan,  could  not  have  been  fixed  with 
certainty  if  other  inscriptions  had  not  made  us 
acquainted  with  the  princes  who  ruled  over  Assyria 
in  succession  from  1460 — 1280  B.C.1  From  these  we  may 
assume  that  Assur-nirar  and  Nabudan  must  have  reigned 
before  this  series  of  princes,  i.  e.  before  1460  B.C.,  from 
which  it  further  follows  that  from  about  the  year  1500 
B.C.  onwards  Assyria  was  in  any  case  an  independent 
state  beside  Babylon.  We  found  above  that  the  treaty 
which  Assur-bil-nisi,  king  of  Assyria,  concluded  about 
the  year  1450  B.C.  with  Karaindas,  king  of  Babylon,  for 
fixing  the  boundaries,  must  have  been  preceded  by 
hostile  movements  on  the  part  of  both  kingdoms.  We 
saw  that  Assur-bil-nisi's  successor,  Busur-Assur,  con- 
cluded a  treaty  with  the  same  object  with  Purnapuryas 
of  Babylon,  and  that  Assur-u-ballit,  who  succeeded 
Busur-Assur  on  the  throne  of  Assyria,  gave  his 
daughter  in  marriage  to  Purnapuryas.  In  order  to 
avenge  the  murder  of  Karachardas,  the  son  of  Purna- 
puryas by  this  marriage,  who  succeeded  his  father  on 
the  throne  of  Babylon,  Assur-u-ballit  invaded  Baby- 
lonia and  placed  Kurigalzu,  another  son  of  Purna- 
puryas, on  the  throne.  We  might  assume  that  about 
this  time,  i.  e.  about  1400  B.C.,  the  borders  of  Assyria 

1  The  date  of  Tiglath  Adar  is  fixed  by  the  statement  of  Sennacherib 
that  he  lost  his  seal  to  the  Babylonians  600  years  before  Sennacherib 
took  Babylon,  i.  e.  about  the  year  1300  B.C.  As  the  series  of  seven 
kings  who  reigned  before  Tiglath  Adar  is  fixed,  Assur-bil-nisi,  the  first 
of  these,  can  be  placed  about  1460  B.C.  if  we  allow  20  years  to  each. 
VOL.  II.  D 


and  Babylonia  touched  eacli  other  in  the  neighbourhood 
of  the  modern  Aker-Kuf,  the  ancient  Dur-Kurigalzu.1 
Assur-u-ballit,  who  restored  the  temple  of  Istar  at 
Nineveh  which  Samsi-Bin  had  built,  was  followed  by 
Pudiel,  Bel-nirar,  and  Bin-nirar.2  The  last  tells  us, 
on  a  stone  of  Kileh-Shergat,  that  Assur-u-ballit  con- 
quered the  land  of  Subari,  Bel-nirar  the  army  of  Kassi, 
that  Pudiel  subjugated  all  the  land  as  far  as  the  distant 
border  of  Guti;  he  himself  overcame  the  armies  of 
Kassi,  G-uti,  Lulumi  and  Subari ;  the  road  to  the 
temple  of  the  god  Asshur,  his  lord,  which  had  fallen 
down,  he  restored  with  earth  and  tiles,  and  set  up  his 
tablet  with  his  name,  "on  the  twentieth  day  of  the 
month  Muhurili,  in  the  year  of  Salmanurris." 3 

Bin-nirar's  son  and  successor  was  Shalmanesar  I., 
who  ascended  the  throne  of  Assyria  about  1340  B.C. 
We  learnt  above  from  Genesis,  that  "  Asshur  built  the 
cities  of  Nineveh,  Rehoboth-Ir,  Resen  and  Ohalah." 
Assur-nasirpal,  who  ruled  over  Assyria  more  than  400 
years  after  Shalmanesar  L,  tells  us  that  "Shalmanesar 
the  mighty,  who  lived  before  him,  founded  the  ancient 
city  of  Chalah." 4  It  is  thus  clear  that  Assyria  before 
the  year  1300  B.C.  obtained  a  third  residence  in  addi- 
tion to  the  cities  of  Asshur  and  Nineveh.  Like  Asshur 
and  Nineveh,  it  lay  on  the  banks  of  the  Tigris,  about 
50  miles  to  the  north  of  Asshur,  and  25  to  the  south 
of  Nineveh.  It  was  not,  however,  like  Asshur,  situated 
on  the  western  bank  of  the  river,  but  on  the  eastern, 

i  Vol.  i.  p.  262. 

8  This  series,  Pudiel,  Bel-nirar  and  Bin-nirar,  is  established  by 
tiles  of  Kileh-Shergat,  and  the  fact  that  it  joins  on  to  Assur-u-ballit, 
by  the  tablet  of  Biii-nirar  discovered  by  G.  Smith,  in  which  he  calls 
himself  great  grandson  of  Assur-u-ballit,  grandson  of  Bel-nirar,  and 
son  of  Pudiel;  G.  Smith,  "  Discov."  p.  244. 

3  G.  Smith,  "  Discov."  pp.  244,  245. 

*  E.  Schrader,  "  Keilinschriften  und  A.  T."  s.  20;  "Records  of 
the  Past,"  7,  17. 


like  Nineveh,  a  little  above  the  junction  of  the  Upper 
Zab,  in  a  position  protected  by  both  rivers,  and  thus 
far  more  secure  than  Asshur.  Shalmanesar  also  built 
in  both  the  old  residences  of  Asshur  and  Nineveh. 
Tiles  of  Kileh-Shergat  bear  the  stamp,  "  Palace  of 
Shalmanesar,  son  of  king  Bin-nirar."  *  His  buildings 
in  Nineveh  are  certified  by  an  inscription,  in.  which 
Shalmanesar  says  :  "The  temple  of  Istar,  which  Sarnsi- 
Bin,  the  prince  who  was  before  me,  built,  and  which 
my  predecessor  Assur-u-ballit  restored,  had  fallen  into 
decay  in  the  course  of  time.  I  built  it  up  again  from 
the  ground  to  the  roof.  The  prince  who  comes  after  me 
and  sees  my  cylinder  (p.  37),  and  sets  it  again  in  its 
place,  as  T  have  set  the  cylinder  of  Assur-u-ballit  in  its 
place,  him  may  Istar  bless ;  but  him  who  destroys  my 
monument  may  Istar  curse  and  root  his  name  and 
race  out  of  the  land."  2  In  the  same  inscription  Shal- 
manesar calls  himself  conqueror  of  Niri,  Lulumi  and 
Musri,  districts  for  which — at  any  rate  for  the  two  last — 
we  shall  have  to  look  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Nineveh, 
in  the  chain  of  the  Zagrus.  The  son  of  Shalmanesar  I. 
was  Tiglath  Adar;  he  completed  the  restoration  of 
the  temple  of  Istar  at  Nineveh,  and  fought  with  such 
success  against  Nazimurdas  of  Babylon  that  he  placed 
on  his  seal  this  inscription :  "  Tiglath  Adar,  king  of 
the  nations,  son  of  Shalmanesar,  king  of  Asshur,  has 
conquered  the  land  of  Kardunias."  But  he  afterwards 
lost  this  very  seal  to  the  Babylonians,  who  placed  it  as 
a  trophy  in  the  treasure-house  of  Babylon  (about 
1300  B.C.).3 

1  MSnant,  "  Aniial."  p.  73.  2  G.  Smith,  foe.  eft.  p.  249. 

3  G-.  Smith,  loc.  cit.  p.  250;  E.  Schrader,  "A.  15.  Keilinschriften,"  3. 
294.  As  Sennacherib  states  that  he  brought  back  this  seal  from 
Babylon  after  600  years,  and  as  Sennacherib  took  Babylon  twice  in 
704  and  694  B.C.,  the  loss  of  it  falls  either  in  the  year  1304  or  129 1 
B.C.  As  he  brings  back  the  Assyrian  images  of  the  gods  at  thn  secon  1 


These  are  the  beginnings  of  the  Assyrian  kingdom 
according  to  the  indications  of  the  monuments.  After 
the  series  of  kings  from  Assur-bil-nisi  to  Tiglath  Adar, 
whose  dates  come  down  from  about  the  year  1460  to 
about  1280  B.C.,  there  is  a  gap  in  our  knowledge  of  some 
decades.  After  this  we  hear  at  first  of  new  struggles 
with  Babylon.  In  these  Belkudurussur  of  Assyria 
(about  1220  B.C.)  lost  his  life.  The  Babylonians,  led  by 
their  king,  Binpaliddin,  invaded  Assyria  with  a  numer- 
ous army  in  order  to  take  the  city  of  Asshur.  But  Adar- 
palbitkur,  the  successor  of  Belkudurussur,  succeeded  in 
forcing  them  to  retire  to  Babylon.1  Of  Adarpalbitkur 
his  fourth  successor  proudly  declares  that  "  he  was  the 
protector  of  the  might  of  Asshur,  that  he  put  an  end 
to  his  weakness  in  his  land,  that  he  arranged  well  the 
army  of  the  land  of  Assyria."  2  His  son,  Assur-dayan 
(about  1180  B.C)  was  able  to  remove  the  war  again 

capture  (694  B.C.),  the  seal  of  Tiglath  Adar  may  have  been  brought 
back  on  this  occasion. 

1  G.  Smith,  loc.  cit.  p.  250. 

2  So  the  passage  runs  according  to  a  communication  from  E.  Schrader. 
On  the  reading  Adarpalbitkur  as  against  the  readings  Ninpalazira  and 
Adarpalassar,  see  E.  Schrader,  "  A.  B.  Keilinschriften,"  a.  152.     On 
•what  Menant  ("  Annal."  p.  29)  grounds  the  assumption  that  Belku- 
durussur was  the  immediate  successor  of  Tiglath  Adar  I  cannot  say; 
it  would  not  be   chronologically  impossible,   but  the   synchronistic 
tablet  merely  informs  us  that  Adarpalbitkur  was  the  successor  of 
Belkudurussur;  GK  Rawlinson,  " Mon."  2,  49.     Still  less  am  I  able  to 
find  any  foundation  for  the  statement  that  Binpaliddin  of  Babylon, 
the  opponent  of  Belkudurussur  and  Adarpalbitkur,  was  a  vassal-king 
set  up  by  Assyria.     The  date  of  Tiglath  Pilesar  I.  is  fixed  by  the 
Bavian  inscription,  which  tells  us  that  Sennacherib  at  his  second 
capture  of  Babylon  brought  back  out  of  that  city  the  images  of  the 
gods  lost  by  Tiglath  Pilesar  418  years  previously  (Bav.  43 — 50),  at  the 
period  between  1130  and  1100  B.C.   If  he  began  to  reign  1130,  then  the 
five  kings  before  him  (the  series  from  Adarpalbitkur  to  Tiglath  Pilesar  is 
fixed  by  the  cylinder  of  the  latter),  allowing  20  years  to  each  reign, 
bring  us  to  1230  B.C.  for  the  beginning  of  Belkudurussur.      To  go 
back  further  seems  the  more  doubtful,  as  Tiglath  Pilesar  put  Assur- 
dayan,  the  third  prince  of  this  series,  only  60  years  before  his  own 


into  the  land  of  Babylonia ;  he  claims  to  have  carried 
the  booty  from  three  places  in  Babylonia — Zab,  Irriya 
and  Agarsalu — to  Assyria.1  It  was  he  who  had  carried 
away  the  ruins  of  the  fallen  temple  which  Samsi-Bin 
had  built  at  Asshur  to  Anu  and  Bin,  but  had  not 
erected  it  again.  According  to  the  words  of  his  great- 
grandson,  "he  carried  the  exalted  sceptre,  and  pros- 
pered the  nation  of  Bel ;  the  work  of  his  hands  and 
the  gifts  of  his  fingers  pleased  the  great  gods;  he 
attained  great  age  and  long  life."  2  Of  Assur-dayan's 
son  and  successor,  Mutakkil-Nebu  (about  1160  B.C.), 
we  only  find  that  "  Asshur,  the  great  lord,  raised  him 
to  the  throne,  and  upheld  him  in  the  constancy  of  his 
heart."  3  Mutakkil-Nebu's  son,  Assur-ris-ilim  (between 
1150  and  1130  B.C.)  had  to  undergo  severe  struo-o-les 

/  o  oo 

against  the  Babylonians,  who  repeatedly  invaded 
Assyria  under  Nebuchadnezzar  I.  At  length  Assur- 
ris-ilim  succeeded  in  repulsing  Nebuchadnezzar,  and 
took  from  him  40  (50)  chariots  of  war  with  a  banner. 
Tiglath  Pilesar,  the  son  of  Assur-ris-ilim,  says  of  the 
deeds  of  his  father,  doubtless  with  extreme  exaggera- 
tion, "he  conquered  the  lands  of  the  enemy,  and  sub- 
jugated all  the  hostile  lands."4 

The  tiles  of  a  heap  of  ruins  *at  Asshur  bear  the 
inscription,  "  Tiglath  Pilesar,  the  favoured  of  Asshur, 
has  built  and  set  up  the  temple  of  his  lord  the  god 
Bin."  At  the  four  corners  of  the  foundation  walls  of 
this  building  were  discovered  four  octagonal  cylinders 
of  clay,  about  a  foot  and  a  half  in  height,  on  the 
inscriptions  of  which  this  king  repeats  the  narrative  of 
the  deeds  of  the  first  five  years  of  his  life.  He  restored 

1  Sayce,  "  Records  of  the  Past,"  3,  31  j  M6nant,  loc.  cit.  p.  31. 

2  Communication  from  E.  Schrader. 

3  Of.  G.  Smith,  loc.  cit.  p.  251. 

*  Vol.  L  p.  263 ;  Me"nant,  loc.  cit.  p.  32. 



the  royal  dwelling-places  and  the  fortresses  of  the 
land  which  were  in  a  bad  condition,  and  planted  again 
the  forests  of  the  land  of  Asshur;  he  renovated  the 
habitation  of  the  gods,  the  temples  of  Istar  and  Bilit 
in  the  city  of  Asshur.  At  the  beginning  of  his 
reign  Ami  and  Bin,  his  lords,  had  bidden  him  set  up 
again  the  temple  which  Samsi-Bin  had  once  built 
for  them.  This  he  accomplished ;  he  caused  the  two 
great  deities  to  enter  into  their  high  dwelling-places 
and  rejoiced  the  heart  of  their  great  divinity.  "  May 
Anu  and  Bin  grant  me  prosperity  for  ever,  may  they 
bless  the  work  of  my  hands,  may  they  hear  my  prayer 
and  lead  me  to  victory  in  war  and  in  fight,  may  they 
subdue  to  my  dominion  all  the  lands  which  rise  up 
against  me,  the  rebellious  nations  and  the  princes,  my 
rivals,  may  they  accept  my  sacrificial  offerings  for  the 
continuance  and  increase  of  my  race ;  may  it  be  the 
will  of  Asshur  and  the  great  gods  to  establish  my  race 
as  firm  as  the  mountains  to  the  remotest  days."1 

These  cylinders  tell  us  of  the  campaign  of  Tiglath 
Pilesar.  First  he  defeated  20,000  Moschi  (Muskai) 
and  their  five  kings.  He  marched  against  the  land 
of  Kummukh,  which  rebelled  against  him ;  even 
that  part  of  the  inhabitants  which  fled  into  a  city 
beyond  the  Tigris  which  they  had  garrisoned  he  over- 
came after  crossing  the  Tigris.  He  also  conquered 
the  people  of  Kurkhie  (Kirkhie)  who  came  to  their 
help ;  he  drove  them  into  the  Tigris  and  the  river 
Nami,  and  took  prisoner  in  the  battle  Kiliantaru, 
whom  they  had  made  their  king ;  he  conquered  the 
land  of  Kummukh  throughout  its  whole  extent  and 
incorporated  it  with  Assyria.2  After  this  he  marched 
against  the  laud  of  Kurkhie ;  next  he  crossed  the 

1  Menant,  "  Annal."  pp.  47,  48. 
a  Column,  1,  62,  seqq.,  1,  89. 


Lower  Zab  and  overcame  two  districts  there.  Then 
he  turned  against  the  princes  of  the  land  of  Nairi  (he 
puts  the  number  of  these  at  23) ;  these,  and  the 
princes  who  came  from  the  upper  sea  to  aid  them,  he 
conquered,  carried  off  their  flocks,  destroyed  their  cities, 
and  imposed  on  them  a  tribute  of  1200  horses  and  2000 
oxen.  These  battles  in  the  north  were  followed  by  a 
campaign  in  the  west.  He  invaded  the  land  of  Aram, 
which  knew  not  the  god  Asshur,  his  lord  ; 1  he  marched 
against  the  city  of  Karkamis,  in  the  land  of  the  Chatti ; 
he  defeated  their  warriors  on  the  east  of  the  Euphrates ; 
he  crossed  the  Euphrates  in  pursuit  of  the  fugitives  and 
there  destroyed  six  cities.  Immediately  after  this  the 
king  marched  again  to  the  East,  against  the  lands  of 
Khumani  and  Musri  and  imposed  tribute  upon  them. 

"  Two-and-forty  lands  and  their  princes/'  so  the 
cylinders  inform  us,  "from  the  banks  of  the  Lower 
Zab  as  far  as  the  bank  of  the  Euphrates,  the  land  of  the 
Chatti,  and  the  upper  sea  of  the  setting  sun,  all  these 
my  hand  has  reached  since  my  accession;  one  after 
the  other  I  have  subjugated  them;  I  have  received 
hostages  from  them  and  laid  tribute  upon  them."2 
"  This  temple  of  Anu  and  Bin  and  these  towers,"  so 
the  inscription  of  the  cylinders  concludes,  "  will  grow 
old ;  he  who  in  the  succession  of  the  days  shall  be 
king  in  my  place  at  a  remote  time,  may  he  restore 
them  and  place  his  name  beside  mine,  then  will  Anu 
and  Bin  grant  to  him  prosperity,  joy  and  success  in 
his  undertakings.  But  he  who  hides  my  tablets,  and 
erases  or  destroys  them,  or  puts  his  name  in  the  place 
of  mine,  him  will  Anu  and  Bin  curse,  his  throne  will 
they  bring  down,  and  break  the  power  of  his  dominion, 
and  cause  his  army  to  flee  ;  Bin  will  devote  his  land  to 
destruction,  and  will  spread  over  it  poverty,  hunger, 

1  Column,  5,  44.  a  Column,  6,  39. 


sickness,  and  death,  and  destroy  his  name  and  his  race 
from  the  earth.  On  the  twenty-ninth  day  of  Kisallu, 
in  the  year  of  In-iliya-allik."1 

In  memory  of  his  achievements  against  the  land  of 
Nairi,  Tiglath  Pilesar  also  set  up  a  special  monument. 
On  a  rock  at  one  of  the  sources  of  the  Eastern  Tigris 
near  Karkar  we  see  his  image  hewn  in  relief.  He 
wears  the  tall  cap  or  kidaris ;  the  hair  and  beard  are 
long  and  curled;  the  robe  falls  in  deep  folds  to  the 
ancles.  The  inscription  runs :  "  By  the  grace  of 
Asshur,  Samas  and  Bin,  the  great  gods,  my  lords,  I, 
Tiglath  Pilesar,  am  ruler  from  the  great  sea  of  the  west 
land  (mat  acharri]  to  the  lake  of  the  land  of  Nairi. 
Three  times  I  have  marched  to  the  land  of  Nairi."  2 
The  first  subjugation  of  this  district  could  not,  there- 
fore, have  been  complete. 

As  this  monument  proves,  Tiglath  Pilesar's  campaigns 
could  not  have  ended  with  the  fifth  year  of  his  reign. 
From  the  synchronistic  tablets  we  can  ascertain  that 
he  had  to  undergo  severe  struggles  with  the  Babylo- 
nians. Marduk-nadin-akh  of  Babylon  invaded  Assyria, 
crossed  the  Tigris,  and  the  battle  took  place  on  the 
Lower  Zab.  In  the  next  year,  according  to  the  same 
tablets,  Tiglath  Pilesar  is  said  to  have  taken  the  border- 
fortresses  of  Babylon,  Dur-Kurigalzu,  Sippara,  Babili 
and  Upi  (Opis  ?).3  However  this  may  be,  Tiglath 
Pilesar  in  the  end  was  at  a  disadvantage  in  his  contest 
with  the  Babylonians.  Sennacherib,  king  of  Assyria, 
tells  us,  "  The  gods  of  the  city  Hekali,  which  Marduk- 
nadin-akh,  king  of  the  land  of  Accad,  had  taken  in  the 
time  of  Tiglath  Pilesar,  king  of  Asshur,  and  carried  to 
Babylon  418  years  previously,  I  have  caused  to  be 

1  Menant,  loc.  cit.  p.  48. 

2  Vol.  i.  p.  519 ;  E.  Sclirader,  "  Keilinscliriften  xmd  A.  T."  s.  16. 
8  M&iant,  loc.  cit.  p.  51. 


brought  back  again  from  Babylon  and  put  up  again  in 
their  place."  A  Babylonian  tablet  from  the  tenth  year 
of  Marduk-nadin-akh  of  Babylon  appears  to  deal  with 
loans  on  conquered  Assyrian  territory.1 

When  Tiglath  Pilesar  ascended  the  throne  about  the 
year  1130  B.C.  the  empire  of  Assyria,  as  his  inscrip- 
tions show,  had  not  as  yet  made  any  extensive  con- 
quests beyond  the  circle  of  the  native  country.  The 
Muskai,  i.  e.  the  Moschi,  whom  we  have  found  on  the 
north-western  slopes  of  the  Armenian  mountains, 
against  whom  Tiglath  Pilesar  first  fought,  had  forced 
their  way,  as  the  cylinders  tell  us,  into  the  land  of 
Kummukh.2  As  the  inhabitants  of  the  land  of 
Kummukh  are  conquered  on  the  Tigris  and  forced  into 
it,  while  others  escape  over  the  Tigris  and  defend  a 
fortified  city  on  the  further  side  of  the  river,  as  the 
land  itself  is  then  incorporated  with  Assyria,  we  must 
obviously  look  for  it  at  no  great  distance  to  the  north 
on  both  shores  of  the  Upper  Tigris.  We  shall  hardly  be 
in  error,  therefore,  if  we  take  this  land  to  be  the  district 
afterwards  called  Gumathene,  on  the  Tigris,  which 
Ammianus  describes  as  a  fruitful  and  productive  land, 
i.  e.  as  the  canton  of  Amida.3  The  next  conflicts  of 
Tiglath  Pilesar  took  place  on  the  Lower  Zab,  i.  e.  at 
the  south-eastern  border  of  the  Assyrian  country. 
Further  to  the  south,  on  the  Zagrus,  perhaps  in  the 
district  of  Chalonitis,  or  between  the  Lower  Zab  and 
the  Adhim,  or  at  any  rate  to  the  east,  we  must  look  for 
the  land  of  Khumani  and  the  land  of  Musri.  The 
image  at  Karkar,  Tiglath  Pilesar's  monument  of  victory, 

1  Vol.  i.  p.  263 ;  Bavian  Inscrip.  48 — 50 ;  Menant,  "  Annal."  pp. 
52,  236.     Inscription  on  the  black  basalt-stone  in  Oppert  et  Meaant, 
"Documents  juridiques,"  p.  98.     Is  the  name  of  the  witness  (col.  2, 
27),  Sar-babil-assur-issu  (p.  115),  correctly  explained  by  "The  king 
of  Babel  has  conquered  Asshur  "  ? 

2  Col.  1,  62.  3  Ammian.  Marcell.  18,  9. 


gives  us  information  about  the  position  of  the  land  of 
Nam.  It  comprises  the  mountain  cantons  between  the 
Eastern  Tigris  and  the  upper  course  of  the  Great  Zab, 
where  that  river  traverses  the  land  of  Arrapachitis 
(Albak).  The  lake  of  the  land  of  Nairi,  to  which  the 
inscription  of  Karkar  extends  the  rule  of  Tiglath  Pilesar, 
and  the  upper  sea  from  which  auxiliaries  come  to  the 
princes  of  the  land  of  Nairi,  are  both,  no  doubt,  Lake 
Van.  The  inhabitants  of  Nairi  are  not  like  those  of 
the  land  of  Kummukh,  incorporated  with  Assyria,  they 
have  merely  to  pay  a  moderate  tribute  in  horses  and 
oxen.  The  campaign  of  Tiglath  Pilesar  against  Karkamis 
(Karchemish)  proves  that  the  dominion  of  Assyria 
before  his  reign  did  not  reach  the  Euphrates.  He 
marches  against  the  land  of  Aram  and  has  then  to 
fight  with  the  army  of  Karchemish  on  this  side,  i.  e.  on 
the  east  side  of  the  Euphrates  ;  the  results  which  he 
obtained  on  this  campaign  to  the  west  of  the  Euphrates 
he  does  not  himself  rate  very  highly.  We  saw  that  in 
the  end  he  remained  at  a  disadvantage  in  his  contest 
with  Babylon.  On  the  other  hand,  in  campaigns 
which  took  place  in  years  subsequent  to  the  attempt 
against  Karchemish,  he  must  have  forced  his  way 
to  the  west  far  beyond  the  Euphrates,  in  order  to 
be  able  to  boast  on  the  monument  at  Karkar  "  that 
he  ruled  from  the  sea  of  Nairi  as  far  as  the  great 
sea  of  the  west  land,"  i.  e.  to  the  Mediterranean. 
Hence  we  have  to  assume  that  he  went  forth  from 
Karchemish  westwards  almost  as  far  as  the  mouth  of 
the  Orontes.  We  should  be  more  accurately  informed 
on  this  matter  if  the  fragment  of  an  inscription  on  an 
obelisk  beside  an  inscription  of  Assurnasirpal,  who 
reigned  more  than  200  years  after  Tiglath  Pilesar, 
could  be  referred  to  Tiglath  Pilesar.  The  fragment 
speaks  in  the  third  person  of  the  booty  gained  in 


hunting  by  a  king,  which  is  given  in  nearly  the  same 
totals  as  the  results  of  Tiglath  Pilesar's  hunts  on  his 
cylinders.  These  represent  him  as  slaying  120  lions 
and  capturing  800.  The  fragment  speaks  of  120  and 
800  lions,  of  Amsi  killed  in  Charran  on  the  Chabor, 
of  Eim  whom  the  king  slew  before  the  land  of  Chatti 
at  the  foot  of  Mount  Labnani  (Lebanon),  of  a  crocodile 
(nasukfi)  which  the  king  of  Musri  sent  as  a  present. 
The  hunter,  it  is  said,  ruled  from  the  city  of  Babylon, 
in  the  land  of  Accad,  as  far  as  the  land  of  the  west 
(mat  ac/iarrij.1 

According  to  the  inscriptions  on  the  cylinders  the 
land  of  Aram  lies  to  the  east  of  the  Euphrates ;  the 
city  of  Karchemish  lies  on  the  west  bank  in  the  land  ot 
the  Chatti.  The  Chatti  are  the  Hittites  of  the  Hebrews, 
the  Cheta  of  the  Egyptians.  We  found  that  the 
inscriptions  of  Sethos  and  Ramses  II.  extended  the 
name  of  the  Cheta  as  far  as  the  Euphrates  (I.  151, 
152).  But  although  the  kingdom  of  the  Hittites  had 
fallen  two  centuries  before  Tiglath  Pilesar  crossed 
the  Euphrates,  the  name  still  clung  to  this  region,  as 
the  inscriptions  of  Tiglath  Pilesar  and  his  successors 
prove,  more  especially  to  the  region  from  Hamath  and 
Damascus  as  far  as  Lebanon.  The  land  of  the  west 
(mat  acharri)  in  the  strict  sense  is,  of  course,  to  the 
Assyrians,  from  their  point  of  view,  the  coast  of  Syria. 
Whatever  successes  Tiglath  Pilesai'  may  have  gained 
in  this  direction,  they  were  of  a  transitory  nature. 

The  first  of  his  sons  to  succeed  him  was  Assur-bel- 
kala,  whose  reign  we  may  fix  in  the  years  1100 — 1080 
B.c.  With  three  successive  kings  of  Babylon,  Marduk- 
sapik-kullat,  Saduni  (?),  and  Nebu-zikir-iskun,  he 

1  Araziki  cannot  be  taken  for  Aradus,  the  name  of  which  city  on  the 
obelisk  and  in  the  inscriptions  of  Assurnasirpal,  Shalmanesar,  and 
elsewhere  is  Arvadu. 


came  into  contact,  peaceful  or  hostile.  With  the  first 
he  'made  a  treaty  of  peace,  with  Saduni  he  carried  on 
war,  with  Nebu-zikir-iskun  he  again  concluded  a 
peace,  which  fixed  the  borders.  This  was  confirmed 
by  intermarriage  ; l  Assur  -  bel  -  kala  married  his 
daughter  to  Nebu-zikir-iskun,  while  the  latter  gave  his 
daughter  to  Assur-bel-kala.  Of  the  exploits  of  his 
successor,  Samsi-Bin  II.  (1080 — 1060  B.C.),  a  second 
son  of  Tiglath  Pilesar,  we  have  no  account.2  We 
cannot  maintain  with  certainty  whether  Assur-rab- 
amar,  of  whom  Shalmanesar  II.  tells  us  that  he  lost 
two  cities  on  the  Euphrates  which  Tiglath  Pilesar  had 
taken,3  was  the  direct  successor  of  Samsi-Bin. 

After  this,  for  the  space  of  more  than  100  years 
(1040 — 930),  there  is  again  a  gap  in  our  knowledge. 
Not  till  we  reach  Assur-dayan  II.,  who  ascended 
the  throne  of  Assyria  about  the  year  930  B.C.,  can  we 
again  follow  the  series  of  the  Assyrian  kings  downwards 
without  interruption.  This  Assur-dayan  II.  is  followed 
by  Bin-nirar  II.,  about  900  ;  Bin-nirar,  by  Tiglath  Adar 
II. ,  who  reigned  from  889 — 883  B.C.  He  had  to  con- 
tend once  more  against  the  land  of  Nairi,  i.  e.  against 
the  region  between  the  Eastern  Tigris  and  the  upper 
course  of  the  Upper  Zab.  As  a  memorial  of  the 
successes  which  he  gained  here  he  caused  his  image 
to  be  carved  beside  that  of  Tiglath  Pilesar  in  the  rocks 
at  Karkar  (see  below).  Besides  this,  there  is  in  exist- 
ence from  his  time  a  pass,  i.  e.  a  small  tablet,  with  the 
inscription,  "  Permission  to  enter  into  the  palace  of 

1  Sayce,  "Records,"  3,  33;  M^nant,  "Annal."p.  53;  "  Babylone," 
pp.  129,  130. 

2  According  to  G.  Smith  ("Discov."  p.  91,  252)  this  Samsi-Bin  II. 
restored  the  temple  of  Istar  at  Nineveh  which  Samsi-Bin  I.  had  built 
(above,  p.  3). 

8  Inscription  of  Kurkh,    "  Records  of  the  Past,"  3,  93 ;   Meuant, 
'  Annal."  p.  55. 


Tiglath  Adar,  king  of  the  land  of  Asshur,  son  of  Bin- 
nirar,  king  of  the  land  of  Asshur." l 

Neither  at  the  commencement  nor  in  the  course  of 
the  history  of  Assyria  do  the  monuments  know  of  a 
king  Ninus,  a  queen  Semiramis,  or  of  any  warlike 
queen  of  this  kingdom  ;  they  do  not  even  mention  any 
woman  as  standing  independently  at  the  head  of 
Assyria.  Once,  it  is  true,  we  find  the  name  Semiramis 
in  the  inscriptions  in  the  form  Sammuramat.  Sam- 
muramat  was  the  wife  of  king  Bin-nirar  III.,  who 
ruled  over  Assyria  from  the  year  810 — 781  B.C.  On 
the  pedestal  of  two  statues,  which  an  officer  of  this 
king,  the  prefect  of  Chalah,  dedicated  to  the  god  Nebo, 
the  inscription  is :  "  To  Nebo,  the  highest  lord  of  his 
lords,  the  protector  of  Bin-nirar,  king  of  Asshur,  and 
protector  of  Sammuramat,  the  wife  of  the  palace,  his 
lady."  The  name  of  Ninyas  is  quite  unknown  to  the 
monuments,  and  of  the  names  of  the  33  kings  which 
Ctesias  gives,  with  their  names  and  reigns  as  successors 
of  Ninyas  down  to  the  overthrow  of  the  kingdom 
and  Sardanapalus  (p.  26), — unless  we  identify  the  last 
name  in  the  list,  that  of  Sardanapalus,  with  the  Assur- 
banipal  of  the  inscriptions,  i.  e.  with  the  ruler  last 
but  one  or  two  according  to  the  records, — no  single  one 
agrees  with  the  names  of  the  monuments,  which,  more- 
over, give  a  higher  total  than  six-and-thirty  for  the 
reigns  of  the  Assyrian  kings.  The  list  of  Ctesias  appears 
to  have  been  put  together  capriciously  or  merely 
invented  ;  the  lengths  of  the  reigns  are  pure  imagina- 
tion, and  arranged  according  to  certain  synchronisms. 

Not  less  definite  is  the  evidence  of  the  monuments 
that  the  pre-eminence  of  Assyria  over  Upper  Asia 
cannot  have  commenced  in  the  year  2189  or  1913  B. a, 
as  Ctesias  asserts,  or  as  may  be  assumed  from  his  data, 

1  M6nant,  "  Annal."  p.  63. 


nor  in  1273,  as  has  been  deduced  from  the  statements 
of  Berosus,  nor  finally  in  the  year  1234,  according  to 
Herodotus'  statements  (p.  27).  Though  we  are  able  to 
find  only  approximately  the  dates  of  the  kings  of 
Assyria,  whose  Dames  and  deeds  we  have  passed  in 
review,  the  result  is,  nevertheless,  that  the  power  of 
Assyria  in  the  fifteenth  and  fourteenth  centuries  did 
not  go  far  beyond  the  native  country — that  her  forces 
by  no  means  surpassed  those  of  Babylon — that  pre- 
cisely in  the  thirteenth  and  twelfth  centuries  B.C.  the 
kingdom  of  Babylon  was  at  least  as  strong  as  that  of 
Assyria — that  even  towards  the  close  of  the  twelfth 
century  Tiglath  Pilesar  I.  could  gain  no  success  against 
Babylon — that  his  successors  sought  to  establish  peace- 
ful relations  with  Babylonia.  There  is  just  as  little 
reason  to  maintain  the  period  of  520  years  which 
Herodotus  allows  for  the  Assyrian  empire  over  Asia. 
This  cannot  in  any  case  be  assumed  earlier  than  the 
date  of  Tiglath  Pilesar  L,  who  did  at  least  cross  the 
Euphrates  and  enter  Northern  Syria.  The  beginning 
of  this  empire  would,  therefore,  be  about  1130  B.C., 
not  1234  B.C.  The  date  also  which  Herodotus  gives 
for  the  close  of  this  empire  (before  700  B.C.)  cannot, 
as  will  be  shown,  be  maintained.  According  to  this 
datum  the  decline  and  fall  of  Assyria  must  have 
began  with  the  period  in  which,  as  a  fact,  she  rose 
to  the  proudest  height  and  extended  her  power  to 
the  widest  extent.  The  period  of  520  years  can  only 
be  kept  artificially  by  reckoning  it  upwards  from  the 
year  607  B.C.,  the  year  of  the  overthrow  of  the 
Assyrian  empire  ;  then  it  brings  us  from  this  date 
to  1127  B.C.,  i.  e.  to  the  time  of  Tiglath  Pilesar  I. 
But  we  saw  that  the  conquests  of  Tiglath  Pilesar  did 
not  extend  very  far,  that  his  successes  west  of  the 
Euphrates  were  of  a  transitory  nature  ;  in  no  case 


could  a  dominion  of  Assyria  over  Babylon  be  dated 
from  his  reign. 

The  complete  agreement  of  the  Assyrian  and  Baby- 
lonian style  and  civilisation  is  proved  most  clearly  by 
the  monuments.  The  names  of  the  princes  of  Assyria 
are  formed  analogously  to  those  of  the  Babylonians  ; 
the  names  and  the  nature  of  the  deities  which  the 
Assyrians  and  Babylonians  worship  are  the  same.  In 
Assyria  we  meet  again  with  Anu  the  god  of  the  high 
heaven,  Samas  the  sun-god,  Sin  the  moon-god,  Bin 
(Ramman)  the  god  of  the  thunder ;  of  the  spirits  of  the 
planets  Adar,  the  lord  of  Saturn,  Nebo,  the  god  of 
Mercury,  and  Istar,  the  lady  of  Venus,  in  her  double 
nature  of  destroyer  and  giver  of  fruit,  reappear.  There 
is  only  one  striking  difference  :  the  special  protector 
of  Assyria,  Asshur,  the  god  of  the  land,  stands  at  the 
head  of  the  gods  in  the  place  of  El  of  the  Babylonians. 
He  it  is  after  whom  the  land  and  the  oldest  metropolis 
is  named,  whose  representatives  the  oldest  princes  of 
Assyria  appear  to  have  called  themselves.  The  name 
of  Asshur  is  said  to  mean  the  good  or  the  kind  ;l 
which  may  even  on  the  Euphrates  have  been  an  epithet 
of  El,  which  on  the  Tigris  became  the  chief  name  of 
the  deity.  As  the  ancient  princes  of  Ur  and  Erech, 
of  Nipur  and  Senkereh,  as  the  kings  of  Babel — so  also 
the  kings  of  Assyria,  as  far  back  as  our  monuments 
allow  us  to  go — built  temples  to  their  gods  ;  like  them 
they  mark  the  tiles  of  their  buildings  with  their  names  ; 
like  the  kings  of  Babel,  they  cause  inscriptions  to  be 
written  on  cylinders,  intended  to  preserve  the  memory 
of  their  buildings  and  achievements,  and  then  placed 
in  the  masonry  of  their  temples.  The  language  of 
the  inscriptions  of  Assyria  differs  from  those  of  the 
Babylonian  inscriptions,  as  one  dialect  from  another  ; 

1  B.  Schrader,  "  Keilinschriften  und  A.  T."  s.  7. 


the  system  of  writing  is  the  same.  The  population  of 
Assyria  transferred  their  language  and  writing,  their 
religious  conceptions  and  modes  of  worship,  from  the 
Lower  Euphrates  to  the  Upper  Tigris.  If  the  princes 
of  Erech,  Nipur  and  Babylon  had  to  repel  the  attacks 
of  Elam,  the  Assyrian  land,  a  region  of  moderate  ex- 
tent, lay  under  the  spurs  of  the  Armenian  table-land, 
under  the  ranges  of  the  Zagrus.  The  struggle  against 
the  tribes  of  these  mountains,  in  the  Zagrus  and  in  the 
region  of  the  sources  of  the  Euphrates  and  the  Tigris, 
and  the  stubborn  resistance  of  these  tribes  appears  to 
have  strengthened  the  warlike  powers  of  the  Assyrians, 
and  these  ceaseless  campaigns  trained  them  to  that 
military  excellence  which  finally,  after  a  period  of 
exercise  which  lasted  for  centuries,  won  for  them 
the  preponderance  over  Mesopotamia  and  Syria,  over 
Babylonia  and  Elain,  no  less  than  over  Egypt. 



AT  the  time  when  Babylonia,  on  the  banks  of  the 
Euphrates,  flourished  under  the  successors  of  Hammu- 
rabi in  an  ancient  and  peculiar  civilisation,  and  Assyria 
was  struggling  upwards  beside  Babylonia  on  the  banks 
of  the  Tigris,  strengthening  her  military  power  in  the 
Armenian  mountains  and  the  ranges  of  the  Zagrus,  and 
already  beginning  to  try  her  strength  in  more  distant 
campaigns,  a  Semitic  tribe  succeeded  in  rising  into 
eminence  in  the  West  also,  in  winning  and  exerting  a 
deep-reaching  influence  on  distant  and  extensive  lands. 
It  was  a  district  of  the  most  moderate  extent  from 
which  this  influence  proceeded,  its  dominion  was  of  a 
different  kind  from  that  of  the  Babylonians  and 
Assyrians ;  it  grew  up  on  an  element  which  elsewhere 
appeared  not  a  favourite  with  the  Semites,  and  sought 
its  points  of  support  in  settlements  on  distant  islands 
and  coasts.  By  this  tribe  the  sea  was  actively  traversed 
and  with  ever-increasing  boldness ;  by  circumspection, 
by  skill,  by  tough  endurance  and  brave  ventures  it 
succeeded  in  extending  its  dominion  in  ever- widening 
circles,  and  making  the  sea  the  instrument  of  its  wealth 
and  the  bearer  of  its  power. 

On  the  coasts  of  Syria  were  settled  the  tribes  of 
the  Arvadites,  Giblites  and  Sidonians  (I.  344).     Their 


land  extended  from  the  mouth  of  the  Eleutherus 
(Nahr  el  Kebir)  in  the  north  to  the  promontory  of 
Carmel  in  the  south.  A  narrow  strip  of  coast  under 
Mount  Lebanon,  from  10  to  15  miles  in  breadth  and 
some  1 50  miles  in  length,  was  all  that  they  possessed. 
Richly  watered  by  the  streams  sent  down  from  Lebanon 
to  the  sea,  the  small  plains  formed  round  their  mouths 
and  separated  by  the  spurs  of  the  mountain  ranges 
are  of  the  most  abundant  fertility.  The  Eleutherus  is 
followed  to  the  south  by  the  Adonis  (Nahr  el  Ibra- 
him), and  this  by  the  Lycus  (Nahr  el  Kelb) ;  then  follow 
the  Tamyras  (Nahr  Damur),  the  Bostrenus  (Nahr  el 
Auli1),  the  Belus  (the  Sihor  Libnath  of  the  Hebrews, 
now  Nahr  Naman),  and  lastly  the  Kishon.  Above  the 
shore  rise  hills  clothed  with  date-palms,  vines  and 
olives ;  higher  up  on  Lebanon  splendid  mountain  pas- 
tures spread  out,  and  above  these  we  come  to  the  vast 
forests  (I.  338)  which  provide  shade  in  the  glowing  heat, 
as  Tacitus  says,2  and  to  the  bright  snow-fields  which 
crown  the  summit  of  Lebanon.  Ammianus  speaks  of 
the  region  under  Lebanon  as  full  of  pleasantness  and 
beauty.  The  upper  slopes  of  the  mountain  furnish 
pasture  and  forests ;  in  the  rocks  are  copper  and  iron. 
The  high  mountain-range,  which  sharply  divided  the 
inhabitants  of  the  coast  from  the  interior  (at  a  much 
later  time,  even  after  the  improvements  of  the  Roman 
Caesars,  there  were,  as  there  are  now,  nothing  but 
mule-tracks  across  Lebanon3),  lay  behind  the  inhabit- 
ants of  the  coast,  and  before  them  lay  the  sea.  At 
an  early  period  they  must  have  become  familiar  with 
that  element.  The  name  of  the  tribe  which  the 
Hebrew  Scriptures  call  the  "  first-born  of  Canaan " 
means  "fishermen."  The  places  on  the  coast  found 

1  Eobinson,  "  Palestine,"  3,  710.  8  Tac.  "  Hist."  5,  6. 

3  Renan,  "Mission  de  Phenicie,"  p.  836. 


the  sea  the  easiest  means  of  communication.  Thus  the 
sea,  so  rich  in  islands,  the  long  but  proportionately 
narrow  basin  which  lay  before  the  Sidonians,  Giblites 
and  Arvadites,  would  soon  attract  to  longer  voyages 
the  fishermen  and  navigators  of  the  coast. 

We  found  that  the  beginning  of  civilisation  in 
Canaan  could  not  be  placed  later  than  about  the  year 
2500  B.C.,  and  we  must  therefore  allow  a  considerable 
antiquity  to  the  cities  of  the  Sidonians,  Giblites, 
Arvadites,  Zemarites  and  Arkites.  The  settlement  on 
the  site  of  Sidon  was  founded,  no  doubt,  before  the 
year  2000  B.C.,  and  that  on  the  site  of  Byblus  cannot 
certainly  be  placed  later  than  this  period.1  The  cam- 
paigns which  the  Pharaohs  undertook  against  Syria 
and  the  land  of  the  Euphrates  after  the  expulsion  of 
the  Shepherds  could  not  leave  these  cities  unmoved. 
If  the  Zemar  of  the  inscriptions  of  Tuthmosis  III.  is 
Zemar  (Simyra)  near  Aradus,  and  Arathntu  is  Aradus 
itself,  the  territories  of  these  cities  were  laid  waste 
by  this  king  in  his  sixth  campaign  (about  the  year 
1580  B.C.);  if  Arkatu  is  Arka,  south  of  Aradus,  this 
place  must  have  been  destroyed  in  his  fifteenth  cam- 
paign (about  the  year  1570  B.C.).  Sethos  I.  (1440 — 
1400  B.C.)  subdued  the  land  of  Limanon  (i.  e.  the 
region  of  Lebanon),  and  caused  cedars  to  be  felled  there. 
One  of  his  inscriptions  mentions  Zor,  i.  e.  Tyre,  among 
the  cities  conquered  by  him.  The  son  and  successor 
of  Sethos  I.,  Ramses  II.,  also  forced  his  way  in  the 
first  decades  of  the  fourteenth  century  as  far  as  the 
coasts  of  the  Phenicians.  At  the  mouth  of  the  Nahr  el 
Kelb,  between  Sidon  and  Berytus,  the  rocks  on  the 
coast  display  the  memorial  which  he  caused  to  be  set 
up  in  the  second  and  third  year  of  his  reign  in  honour 
of  the  successes  obtained  in  this  region.2  In  the  fifth 

1  Vol.  i.  pp.  344,  345.  2  Vol.  i.  p.  151. 



year  of  his  reign  Ramses,  with  the  king  of  the  Cheta' 
defeats  the  king  of  Arathu  in  the  neighbourhood  of 
Kadeshu  on  the  Orontes,  and  Ramses  III.  about  the 
year  1310  B.C.,  mentions  beside  the  Cheta  who  attack 
Egypt  the  people  of  Arathu,  by  which  name,  in  the 
one  case  as  in  the  other,  may  be  meant  the  warriors 
of  Aradus.1  If  Arathu,  like  Arathu tu,  is  Aradus, 
it  follows,  from  the  position  which  Ramses  II.  and 
III.  give  to  the  princes  of  Arathu,  that  beside  the 
power  to  which  the  kingdom  of  the  Hittites  had  risen 
about  the  middle  of  the  fifteenth  century  B.C.,  and 
which  it  maintained  to  the  end  of  the  fourteenth,2  the 
Phenician  cities  had  assumed  an  independent  position. 
The  successes  of  the  Pharaohs  in  Syria  come  to  an 
end  in  the  first  decades  of  the  fourteenth  century. 
Egypt  makes  peace  and  enters  into  a  contract  of 
marriage  with  the  royal  house  of  the  Cheta ;  the 
Syrians  obtain  even  the  preponderance  against  Egypt 
(I.  152),  to  which  Ramses  III.  towards  the  end  of  the 
fourteenth  century  was  first  able  to  oppose  a  successful 

The  overthrow  of  the  kingdom  of  the  Hittites, 
which  succumbed  to  the  attack  of  the  Amorites  (I. 
348)  soon  after  the  year  1300  B.C.,  must  have  had  a 
reaction  on  the  cities  of  the  Phenicians.  Expelled 
Hittites  must  have  been  driven  to  the  coast-land,  or 
have  fled  thither,  and  in  the  middle  of  the  thirteenth 
century  the  successes  gained  by  the  Hebrews  who 
broke  in  from  the  East,  over  the  Amorites,  the 
settlement  of  the  Hebrews  on  the  mountains  of  the 
Amorites,  must  again  have  thrown  the  vanquished, 
i.  e.  the  fugitives  of  this  nation,  towards  the  coast. 

With  this  retirement  of  the  older  strata  of  the 
population  of  Canaan  to  the  coast  is  connected  the 

1  Vol.  i.  p.  153.  2  Yol.  i.  p.  344. 


movement  which  from  this  period  emanates  from  the 
coasts  of  the  Phenicians,  and  is  directed  towards  the 
islands  of  the  Mediterranean  and  the  ^Egean.  It  is  true 
that  on  this  subject  only  the  most  scanty  statements 
and  traces,  only  the  most  legendary  traditions  have 
come  down  to  us,  so  that  we  can  ascertain  these 
advances  only  in  the  most  wavering  outlines.  One 
hundred  miles  to  the  west  off  the  coast  of  Phoenicia 
lies  the  island  of  Cyprus.  On  the  southern  coast  of 
this  island,  which  looked  towards  Phoenicia,  stood  the 
city  of  Citium,  Kith  and  Chith  in  the  inscriptions  of 
the  Phenicians,  and  apparently  Kittii  in  those  of  the 
Assyrians.  Sidonian  coins  describe  Citium  as  a  daughter 
of  Sidon.1  After  this  city  the  whole  island  is  known 
among  the  Semites  as  Kittim  and  Chittim  ;  this  name 
is  even  used  in  a  wider  sense  for  all  the  islands 
of  the  Mediterranean.2  The  western  writers  state 
that  before  the  time  of  the  Trojan  war  Belus  had 
conquered  and  subjugated  the  island  of  Cyprus,  and 
that  Citium  belonged  to  Belus.3  The  victorious  Belus 
is  the  Baal  of  the  Phenicians.  The  date  of  the  Trojan 
war  is  of  no  importance  for  the  settlement  of  the 
Phenicians  in  Cyprus,  for  this  statement  is  found  in 
Virgil  only.  More  important  is  the  fact  that  the 
settlers  brought  the  Babylonian  cuneiform  writing 
to  Cyprus.  This  became  so  firmly  rooted  in  use 
that  even  the  Greeks,  who  set  foot  on  the  island  at 
a  far  later  time,  scarcely  before  the  end  of  the  ninth 
century,  adopted  this  writing,  which  here  meanwhile 
had  gone  through  a  peculiar  development,  and  had 
become  a  kind  of  syllabic-writing,  and  used  it  on  coins 

1  The  legend  runs,  "  From  the  Sidonians,  Mother  of  Kamb,  Ippo, 
Kith(?),  Sor,"  Movers,  "Phoeniz."  2,  134. 

2  Isaiah  xxiii.   1,   19;    Jeremiah  ii.  10;    Ezekiel  xxvii.  6;  Joseph. 
"Antiq."  1,  6,  1. 

3  Yirgil,  «^En."  1,  619,  620. 


and  in  inscriptions  even  in  the  fifth  century  B.C.1 
The  settlement  of  the  Sidonians  in  Cyprus  must  there- 
fore have  taken  place  before  the  time  in  .which  the 
alphabetic  writing,  i.  e.  the  writing  specially  known  as 
Phenician,  was  in  use  in  Syria,  and  hence  at  the  latest 
before  1100  B.C.  How  long  before  this  time  the  settle- 
ment of  the  Phenicians  in  Cyprus  took  place  can, 
perhaps,  be  measured  by  the  fact  that  the  Cyprian 
alphabet  is  a  simplification  of  the  old  Babylonian 
cuneiform  writing.  The  simplified  form  would  un- 
doubtedly have  been  driven  out  by  the  far  more 
convenient  alphabetic  writing  of  the  Phenicians  if  the 
Cyprian  writing  had  not  become  fixed  in  use  in  this 
island  before  the  rise  of  the  alphabetic  writing.  Further, 
since  the  Phenicians,  as  we  shall  see,  set  foot  on  the 
coast  of  Hellas  from  about  the  year  1200  B.C.  onwards, 
we  must  place  the  foundation  of  the  colonies  on  the 
coasts  nearest  them,  the  settlement  in  Cyprus,  before  this 
date,  about  the  middle  of  the  thirteenth  century  B.C. 

What  population  the  Phenicians  found  on  Cyprus  it 
is  not  possible  to  discover.  Herodotus  tells  us  that  the 
first  inhabitants  of  the  island  were  Ethiopians,  accord- 
ing to  the  statements  of  the  Cyprians.  It  is  beyond 
a  doubt  that  not  Citium  only,  but  the  greater  part  of 
the  cities  of  the  island  were  founded  by  the  Phenicians, 
and  that  the  Phenician  element  became  the  ruling 
element  of  the  whole  island.2  It  is  Belus  who  is  said 
to  have  conquered  Cyprus,  and  to  whom  the  city  of 
Citium  is  said  to  belong ;  i.  e.  Citium  worshipped  the 
god  Baal.  At  Amathus,  to  the  west  of  Citium,  on  the 
south  coast  of  the  island,  which  was  called  the  oldest 
city  on  Cyprus,  and  which  nevertheless  bears  a  dis- 
tinctly Semitic  name  (Hamath),  Adonis  and  Ashera- 

1  Brandis,  "  Monatsberichte  Berl.  Akad."  1873,  s.  645  fE. 

2  Herod.  7,  90. 


Astarte  were  worshipped,1  and  these  deities  had  also 
one  of  their  oldest  and  most  honoured  seats  of  worship 
at  Paphos  (Pappa  in  the  inscriptions),  on  the  west 
coast.  The  Homeric  poems  represent  Aphrodite  as 
hastening  to  her  altar  at  Paphos  in  Cyprus.  Pausanias 
observes  that  the  Aphrodite  of  Cyprus  was  a  warlike 
Aphrodite,2  and  as  the  daughters  of  the  Cyprians 
surrendered  themselves  to  the  foreign  seamen  in 
honour  of  this  goddess,3  it  was  the  Astarte- Ashera  of 
the  Phenicians  who  was  worshipped  at  Amathus  and 
Paphos.  The  Zeus  of  the  Cyprian  city  Salamis 
(Sillumi  in  the  inscriptions  of  the  Assyrians),  to  whom, 
according  to  the  evidence  of  western  writers,  human 
sacrifices  were  offered,  can  only  be  Baal  Moloch,  the 
evil  sun-god  of  the  Phenicians.  In  the  beginning  of 
the  tenth  century  B.C.  the  cities  of  Cyprus  stood  under 
the  supremacy  of  the  king  of  Tyre.4  The  island  was 
of  extraordinary  fertility.  The  forests  furnished  wood 
for  ship-building  ;  the  mountains  concealed  rich  veins 
of  the  metal  which  has  obtained  the  name  of  copper 
from  this  island.5  Hence  it  was  a  very  valuable 
acquisition,  an  essential  strengthening  of  the  power  of 
Sidon  in  the  older,  and  Tyre  in  the  later,  period. 

Following  Zeno  of  Khodes,  who  wrote  the  history  of 
his  home  in  the  first  half  of  the  second  century  B.C.,6 
Diodorus  tells  us  :  The  king  of  the  Phenicians,  Agenor, 
bade  his  son  Cadmus  seek  his  sister  Europa,7  who  had 

1  Stephan.  Byz.  'Ajua0o5c. 

2  "  Odyss."  8,  362;  Tac.  "  Annal."  2,  3  ;  Pausan.  1,  14,  6  ;  Pompon. 
Mela,  2,  7.  3  Vol.  i.  p.  359. 

4  Joseph,  "in  Apion."  1,  18;  "  Antiq."  8,  5,  3,  9,  14,  2. 

5  Movers,  "  Phceniz."  2,  239,  240.  6  Diod.  5,  56. 

7  In  Homer  Europa  is  not  the  daughter  of  Agenor  but  of  Phoenix 
("II."  14,  321),  just  as  Cadmus,  Thasos,  and  Europa  are  sometimes 
children  of  Agenor  and  sometimes  of  Phosnix.  In  Hdt.  1,  2  it  is 
Cretans  who  carry  off  Europa,  the  daughter  of  the  king  of  Tyre. 


disappeared,  and  bring  back  the  maiden,  or  not  return 
himself  to  Phoenicia.  Overtaken  by  a  violent  storm, 
Cadmus  vowed  a  shrine  to  Poseidon.  He  was  saved, 
and  landed  on  the  island  of  Rhodes,  where  the  inhabit- 
ants worshipped  before  all  other  gods  the  sun,  who  had 
here  begotten  seven  sons  and  among  them  Makar. 
Cadmus  set  up  a  temple  in  Rhodes  to  Poseidon,  as  he 
had  vowed  to  do,  and  left  behind  Phenicians  to  keep 
up  the  service;  but  in  the  temple  which  belonged 
to  Athena  at  Cnidus  in  Rhodes  he  dedicated  a  work 
of  art,  an  iron  bowl,  which  bore  an  inscription  in 
Phenician  letters,  the  oldest  inscription  which  came 
from  Phrenicia  to  the  Hellenes.  From  Rhodes  Cadmus 
came  to  Samothrace,  and  there  married  Harmonia. 
The  gods  celebrated  this  first  marriage  by  bringing 
gifts,  and  blessing  the  married  pair  to  the  tones  of 
heavenly  music.1 

Ephorus  says  that  Cadmus  carried  off  Harmonia 
while  sailing  past  Samothrace,  and  hence  in  that  island 
search  was  still  made  for  Harmonia  at  the  festivals.2 
Herodotus  informs  us  that  Cadmus  of  Tyre,  the  son  of 
Agenor,  in  his  search  for  Europa,  landed  on  the  island 
of  Thera,  which  was  then  called  Callisto,  and  there 
left  behind  some  Phenicians,  either  because  the  land 
pleased  him  or  for  some  other  reason.  These  Pheni- 
cians inhabited  the  island  for  eight  generations  before 
Theras  landed  there  from  Lacedaemon.  The  rest  went 
to  the  island  of  Thasos  and  there  built  a  temple  to 
Heracles,  which  he  had  himself  seen,  and  the  city  of 
Thasos.  This  took  place  five  generations  before  Heracles 
the  son  of  Amphitryon  was  born.  After  that  Cadmus 
came  to  the  land  now  called  Bceotia,  and  the  Phenicians 
who  were  with  him  inhabited  the  land  and  taught  the 

1  Diod.  4,  2,  60 ;  5,  56,  57,  58,  48,  49. 

2  Ephor.  Frag.  12,  ed.  Miiller. 


Hellenes  many  things,  among  others  the  use  of  writing, 
"  which  as  it  seems  to  me  the  Hellenes  did  not  possess 
before.  They  learnt  this  writing,  as  it  was  used  by 
the  Phenicians ;  in  the  course  of  time  the  form  of 
the  letters  changed  with  the  language.  From  these 
Phenicians  the  lonians,  among  whom  they  dwelt,  learnt 
the  letters,  altered  their  form  a  little,  and  extended 
their  use.  As  was  right,  they  called  them  Phenician 
letters,  since  the  Phenicians  had  brought  them  into 
Greece.  I  have  myself  seen  inscriptions  in  Cadmeian 
letters  (i.  e.  from  the  time  of  Cadmus)  in  the  temple 
of  Ismenian  Apollo  at  Thebes." l  According  to  the 
narrative  of  Hellauicus,  Cadmus  received  an  oracle, 
bidding  him  follow  the  cow  which  bore  on  her  back 
the  sign  of  the  full  moon,  and  found  a  city  where  she 
lay  down.  Cadmus  carried  out  the  command,  and 
when  the  cow  lay  down  wearied,  where  Thebes  now 
stands,  Cadmus  built  there  the  Cadmeia  (the  citadel  of 
Thebes).2  According  to  the  statement  of  Pherecydes 
Cadmus  also  built  the  city  of  Thebes.3  With  Hecatseus 
of  Miletus  Cadmus  passes  as  the  discoverer  of  letters ; 
according  to  others  he  also  discovered  the  making  of 
iron  armour  and  the  art  of  mining.4 

The  direction  of  the  Phenician  settlements,  which 
proceeds  in  the  ^Egean  sea  from  S.E.  to  N.W.,  cannot 
be  mistaken  in  these  legends.  First  Rhodes,  then 
the  Cyclades,  then  the  islands  on  the  Thracian  coast, 
Samothrace  and  Thasos,  were  colonised  ;  and  at  length, 
on  the  strait  of  Euboea,  the  mainland  of  Hellas  was 
trodden  by  the  Phenicians,  who  are  said  to  have  gained 
precisely  from  this  point  a  deep-reaching  influence  over 

1  Herod.  4,  147  ;  2,  45,  49  ;  5,  58,  59. 

2  Frag.  8,  9,  ed.  Miiller. 

3  Frag.  40 — 42,  43 — 45,  ed.  Miiller. 

4  Frag.  163,  ed.  Mtiller. 


the  Hellenes.  The  legend  of  Cadmus  goes  far  back 
among  the  Greeks.  In  the  Homeric  poems  the  inhabit- 
ants of  Thebes  are  "  Cadmeians."  The  Thebaid  praised 
"  the  divine  wisdom  of  Cadmus  ; "  in  the  poems  of 
Hesiod  he  leads  home  Harmonia,  "the  daughter  of 
Ares  and  Aphrodite,"  and  Pindar  describes  how  the 
Muses  sang  for  "  the  divine  Cadmus,  the  wealthiest  of 
mortals,  when  in  seven-gated  Thebes  he  led  the  ox-eyed 
Harmonia  to  the  bridal-bed."  l  Agenor,  the  father  of 
Cadmus,  is  a  name  which  the  Greeks  have  given  to 
the  Baal  of  the  Phenicians.2  Cadmus  himself,  the 
wealthiest  of  mortals,  who  leads  home  the  daughter  of  a 
god  and  a  goddess, — who  celebrates  the  first  marriage 
at  which  the  gods  assemble,  bring  gifts  and  sing, — 
whose  wife  was  worshipped  as  the  protecting  goddess  of 
Thebes,3 — whose  daughters,  Ino,  Leucothea  and  Semele, 
are  divine  creatures,  whom  Zeus  leads  to  the  Elysian 
fields,4 — can  only  be  a  god.  He  seeks  the  lost  Europa, 
and  is  to  follow  the  cow  which  bears  the  sign  of  the  full 
moon.  We  know  the  moon-goddess  of  the  Phenicians, 
who  bears  the  crescent  moon  and  cow's  horns,  the 
horned  Astarte,  who  wears  a  cow's  head,  the  goddess 
of  battle  and  sensual  desire,  and  thus  the  daughter  of 
Ares  and  Aphrodite.  "  The  great  temple  of  Astarte 
at  Sidon,"  so  we  find  in  the  book  of  the  Syrian  goddess, 
"  belongs,  as  the  Sidonians  say,  to  Astarte  ;  but  a  priest 
told  me  that  it  was  a  temple  of  Europa,  the  sister  of 
Cadmus."  The  meaning  of  the  word  Europa  has  been 
discussed  previously  (I.  371).  Cadmus,  who  seeks  the 
lost  moon-goddess,  who  at  length  finds  and  overcomes 
her,  and  celebrates  with  her  the  holy  marriage,  is  the 
Baal  Melkarth  of  the  Phenicians.  The  death-bringing 

1  "Theog."  937,  975;  Find.  "Pyth."  3,  88  segq. 

2  Movers,  "Phceniz."  1,  129,  131.  3  Plut.  "Pelop."  c.  19. 
4  Pind.  "Olymp."  2,  141. 


Istar-Astarte  is  changed  into  Bilit-Ashera,  into  the 
fruit-giving  goddess  ;l  the  gloomy  Europa  changes  into 
Harmonia,  the  goddess  of  union,  birth  and  increase, 
yet  not  without  leaving  to  her  descendants  deadly 
gifts.  It  is  the  myth  of  Melkarth  and  Astarte 
which  the  Greeks  present  to  us  in  the  story  of 
Cadmus ;  with  this  myth  they  have  connected  the 
foundation  of  the  Phenician  settlements  in  Khodes, 
Thera,  Samothrace,  Thasos  and  Boeotia ;  they  have 
changed  it  into  the  foundation  of  these  colonies.  The 
name  Cadmus  means  the  man  of  the  East ;  to  the 
Hebrews  the  Arabs  who  dwelt  to  the  east  of  them 
were  known  as  Beni  Kedem,  i.  e.  sons  of  the  East.2 
To  the  Greeks  the  Phenicians  were  men  of  the  East, 
just  as  to  the  English  of  the  thirteenth  century  the 
merchants  of  Lubeck  were  Easterlings.  The  citadel  of 
Thebes,  which  the  men  of  the  East  built,  preserved 
the  name  of  Cadmus  the  son  of  the  East,  and  kept  it 
alive  among  the  Greeks. 

What  we  can  gather  from  Grecian  legend  is  con- 
firmed by  some  statements  of  historians  and  by  traces 
which  tell  of  settlements  of  the  Phenicians.  Thucy- 
dides  informs  us  that  the  Phenicians  colonised  most 
of  the  islands  of  the  .ZEgean.3  Diodorus  has  already 
told  us  with  regard  to  Rhodes  that  in  the  temples 
of  this  island  were  Phenician  works  of  art  and  in- 
scriptions, and  that  in  Rhodes  the  sun-god  and  the 
seven  children  which  he  begot  there  were  worshipped. 
In  the  number  eight  made  by  these  deities  we  can 
hardly  fail  to  recognise  the  eight  great  deities  of 
the  Phenicians ;  the  sun-god  at  their  head  is  the 
Baal  of  the  Phenicians  (I.  357).  And  if  Diodorus 
mentions  Makar  among  the  seven  sons  of  the  sun-god 
of  Rhodes, — if  according  to  others  Rhodes,  like  Cyprus, 

1  Vol.  i.  271.        2  Movers,  "  Phoeniz."  1,  517.        3  Thac.  1,  8. 


was  called  Macaria, — Makar  is  a  Greek  form  of  the 
name  Melkarth.  We  further  learn  that  on  the  highest 
mountain  summit  in,  on  Atabyris,  Zeus  was 
worshipped  under  the  form  of  a  bull,  and  that  a  human 
sacrifice  was  offered  yearly  to  Cronos.  In  Atabyris 
we  cannot  fail  to  recognise  the  Semitic  Tabor,  i.  e.  the 
height.  We  found  above  that  the  Phenicians  wor- 
shipped Baal  under  the  form  of  a  bull,  and  the  Greeks 
are  wont  to  denote  Baal  Moloch  by  the  name  of  Cronos.1 
These  forms  of  worship  continued  to  exist  even  when 
at  a  later  time  Hellenic  immigrants  had  got  the  upper 
hand  in  Rhodes.  It  was  the  Dorians  who  here  met 
with  resistance  from  the  Phenicians  at  Camirus  and 
lalysus  ;  they  got  the  upper  hand,  but  admitted  Phe- 
nician  families  into  their  midst,2  and  continued  their 
sacred  rites.  Diodorus  informs  us  that  the  Phenicians 
whom  Cadmus  had  left  behind  on  Rhodes  had  formed 
a  mixed  community  with  the  lalysians,  and  that  it  was 
said  that  priests  of  their  families  had  performed  the 
sacred  duties.3  Even  at  a  later  time  Rhodes  stood  in 
close  relation  with  Phoenicia,  especially  with  the  city 
of  Aradus.4  Thus  it  happened  that  the  colonies  which 
the  Rhodians  planted  in  the  seventh  and  sixth  centuries 
in  Sicily,  Gela  and  Acragas,  carried  thither  the  worship 
of  Zeus  Atarbyrius.  Zeus  Atarbyrius  was  the  protect- 
ing deity  of  Acragas,  and  human  sacrifices  were  offered 
to  his  iron  bull-image  on  the  citadel  of  that  city  as 
late  as  the  middle  of  the  sixth  century.  The  coins  of 
Gela  also  exhibit  a  bull.5  Of  the  island  of  Thera, 
Herodotus  told  us  that  the  Phenicians  colonised  it 
and  inhabited  it  for  eight  generations,  i.  e.  for  more 

1  Vol.  i.  363,  364.  2  Atherueus,  p.  360. 

3  Diod.  5,  58.  «  Boeckh.  C.  I.  G.  2526. 

6  Hefter,  "  Gotterdienste  auf  Eliodos,"3, 18;  "Welcker,  " Mythologie," 
1,  145;  Brandis,  "  Munzwesen,"  s.  587. 


than  250  years  according  to  his  computation.  Hero- 
dotus names  the  chief  of  the  Phenicians  whom 
Cadmus  left  behind  on  Thera  ;  others  speak  of  the 
two  altars  which  he  erected  there.1  The  descendants 
of  these  Phenicians  were  found  here  by  the  Greek 
settlers  from  Laconia.  It  is  certain  that  even  in  the 
third  century  B.C.  the  island  worshipped  the  hero 
Phoenix.2  Of  the  island  of  Melos  we  learn  that  it  was 
occupied  by  Phenicians  of  Byblus,  and  named  by 
them  after  their  mother  city ; 3  the  island  of  Oliaros 
near  Paros  was,  on  the  other  hand,  according  to  Hera- 
cleides  Ponticus,  occupied  by  the  Sidonians.4  Strabo 
informs  us  that  Samothrace  was  previously  called 
Melite  (Malta)  ;  from  its  height  (the  island  is  a 
mountain  rising  high  in  the  sea  and  covered  with  oak 
forests  ;  the  summit  reaches  5000  feet)  it  obtained  the 
name  of  Samos,  "  for  high  places  are  called  Sami ; "  5 
as  a  matter  of  fact  the  stem  of  the  word  of  this  mean- 
ing, like  the  name  Melite,  belongs  to  the  Phenician 
language.  Ephorus  has  already  told  us  (p.  56)  that  the 
Samothracians  sought  for  Harmonia  at  their  festivals ; 
Diodorus  represents  Cadmus  as  celebrating  the  marriage 
with  Harmonia  on  Samothrace  as  well  as  at  Thebes, 
and  we  learn  from  Herodotus  that  the  Cabiri,  i.  e. 
the  great  gods  of  the  Phenicians,  were  worshipped 
on  Samothrace ;  votive  tablets  of  the  island  dating 
from  Roman  times  still  bear  the  inscription,""  to  the 
great  gods,"  i.  e.  to  the  Cabiri.6  The  islands  of  Imbros 
and  Lemnos  also  worshipped  the  Cabiri ;  Lemnos 
especially  worshipped  Hephaestus,  who  had  a  leading 

1  SchoL  Find.  "Pyth."  4,  88;  Pausan.  3,  1,  7,  8;  Steph,  Byz. 
M«/i|3Xiopoc.  2  Bceckh,  0.  I.  G.  2448. 

3  Herod.  4,  147  ;  Steph.  Byz.  mfjXog.  *  Steph..  Byz.  'QXiapoQ. 

6  Strabo,  pp.  346,  457,  472 ;  Diod.  5,  47. 

6  Vol.  i.  378 ;  Herod.  2,  51 ;  Conze,  "  Inseln  des  Thrakischen 
Meeres,"  e.  g.  s.  91. 


place  in  this  circle.1  The  island  of  Thasos  is  said, 
according  to  the  statement  of  the  Greeks,  to  have  been 
called  after  a  son  of  Phoenix,  or  Agenor,  of  the  name 
of  Thasos,  who  was  consequently  a  brother  of  Cadmus. 
Herodotus  saw  on  the  island  a  temple  which  the 
Phenicians  had  built  to  Heracles,  i.  e.  to  Baal-Melkarth, 
and  the  mines  which  they  had  made  on  the  coast  oppo- 
site Samothrace  ;  "  they  had  overturned  a  great  moun- 
tain in  order  to  get  gold  from  it."  2  Herodotus  also  tells 
us  that  the  temple  of  Aphrodite  Urania  on  the  island 
of  Cythera  off  the  coast  of  Laconia  was  founded  by  the 
Phenicians,  and  Pausanias  calls  this  temple  the  oldest 
and  most  sacred  temple  of  Urania  among  the  Hel- 
lenes ;  the  wooden  image  in  this  temple  exhibited  the 
goddess  in  armour.  Aphrodite  Urania  is  with  the 
Greeks  the  Syrian  Aphrodite ;  if  she  was  represented  on 
Cythera  in  armour  it  is  clear  that  she  was  worshipped 
there  by  the  Phenicians  as  Astarte-Ashera,  i.  e.  as  the 
goddess  of  war  and  love.3 

Not  in  the  islands  only,  but  on  the  coasts  of  Hellas 
also,  the  Phenicians  have  left  traces  of  their  ancient 
occupation,  especially  in  the  form  of  worship  belong- 
ing to  them.  On  the  isthmus  of  Corinth  Melicertes, 
i.  e.  Melkarth,  was  worshipped  as  a  deity  protecting 
navigation  ;  Corinthian  coins  exhibit  him  on  a  dolphin.4 
Aphrodite,  whose  shrine  stood  on  the  summit  of  Acro- 
corinthus,  was  worshipped  by  prostitution  like  the 
Ashera-Bilit  of  the  Phenicians.  In  Attica  also,  in  the 
deme  of  Athmonon,  there  was  a  shrine  of  the  goddess 
of  Cythera,  which  king  Porphyrion,  i.  e.  the  purple  man, 
the  Phenician,  is  said  to  have  founded  there  at  a  very 

1  Strabo,  p.  473  ;  Steph.  Byz.  *I/*/3poc;  vol.  i.  378. 

2  Herod.  2,  44  ;  6,  47. 

3  Herod.  1,  105;  Pausan.  1,  14,  7;  3,  23,  1. 

*  Pausan.  10,  11,  5;  Boackh,  "  Metrologie,"  s.  45. 


ancient  time  "before  king  Actaeus."  1  At  Marathon, 
where  Heracles  was  worshipped,  and  of  whom  the 
name  represents  the  Phenician  city  Marathus,  rose  a 
fountain  which  had  the  name  Makaria,  i.  e.  Makar,2 
the  name  of  Melkarth,  which  we  have  already  met  with 
in  Cyprus  and  Rhodes,  and  shall  meet  with  again. 
More  plainly  still  do  the  tombs  lately  discovered  in 
Hymettus  at  the  village  of  Spata  attest  the  ancient 
settlement  of  the  Phenicians  on  the  Attic  coast. 
These  are  chambers  dug  deeply  into  the  rock  after  the 
Phenician  manner,  with  horizontal  roofs  after  the 
oldest  fashion  of  Phenician  graves ;  and  shafts  lead 
down  to  them  from  the  surface.  The  ornaments  and 
works  in  glass,  ivory,  gold  and  brass  discovered  here, 
which  are  made  after  Babylonian  and  Egyptian  models, 
can  only  have  been  brought  by  the  Phenicians.3  The 
citadel  of  Thebes,  as  has  been  said,  retains  the  name 
of  Cadmus ;  the  poetry  of  the  Greeks  praised  the 
mighty  walls,  the  seven  gates  of  Thebes.  We  know 
the  number  seven  of  the  great  Phenician  gods ;  we  can 
prove  that  the  seven  gates  were  dedicated  to  the  gods 
of  the  sun,  the  moon  and  the  five  planets ; 4  and  the 
Greeks  have  already  admitted  to  us  that  they  received 
the  wearing  of  armour,  the  art  of  mining  and  masonry 
and  finally  their  alphabet  from  Cadmus,  i.  e.  from  the 
Phenicians,  the  Cad  means  of  Thebes. 

In  the  Homeric  poems  Europa,  the  daughter  of 
Phoenix,  bears  Minos  to  Zeus.  The  abode  of  Minos  is 
the  "great  city"  of  Cnossus  in  Crete  ;  he  receives  each 
nine  years  the  revelations  of  his  father  Zeus ;  for  his 
daughter  Ariadne  Daedalus  adorns  a  dancing  place  at 

1  Pausan.  1,  2,  5;  1,  14,  6,  7. 

2  Strabo,  p.  377;  Pausan.  1,  32,  5. 

3  A0HNAION  c'  y',  1877,  and  below,  chap.  xi. 

4  Brandis,  "  Hermes,"  2,  275  ff.     I  cannot  agree  in  all  points  with 
the  deductions  of  this  extremely  acute  inquiry. 


Cnossus.  After  his  death  Minos  carries  in  the  under 
world  the  golden  sceptre,  and  by  his  decisions  puts  an 
end  to  the  contentions  of  the  shades.1  His  descendants 
rule  in  Crete.2  Later  accounts  tell  us  that  Zeus  in  the 
form  of  a  bull  carried  off  Europa  from  Phoenicia,  and 
bore  her  over  the  sea  to  Crete.  The  wife  of  her  son 
Minos,  Pasiphae,  then  united  with  a  bull  which  rose 
out  of  the  sea,  and  brought  forth  the  Minotaur,  i.  e.  the 
Minos-bull,  a  man  with  a  bull's  head.3  The  son  of 
Minos,  Androgeos  (earth-man)  or  Eurygyes  (Broad- 
land),  was  destroyed  in  Attica  by  the  bull  of  Marathon, 
who  consumed  him  in  his  flames.4  To  avenge  the 
death  of  Androgeos  Minos  seized  Megara,  and  blight 
and  famine  compelled  the  Athenians  to  send,  in  obedi- 
ence to  the  command  of  Minos,  seven  boys  and  seven 
girls  every  ninth  year  to  Crete,  who  were  then  sacri- 
ficed to  the  Minotaur.5  Others  narrate  that  Hephaestus 
had  given  Minos  a  man  of  brass,  who  wandered  round 
the  island  and  kept  off  foreign  vessels,  and  clasped  to  his 
glowing  breast  all  who  were  disobedient  to  Minos.6 
When  Daedalus  retired  before  the  wrath  of  Minos  from 
Crete  to  Sicily,  Minos  equipped  his  ships  to  bring  him 
back ;  but  he  there  found,  according  to  Herodotus,  a 
violent  death.7  The  king  of  the  Sicanians,  so  Diodorus 
tells  us,  gave  him  a  friendly  welcome,  and  caused  a  warm 
bath  to  be  prepared,  and  then  craftily  suffocated  him  in 
it.  The  Cretans  buried  their  king  in  a  double  grave  ; 
they  laid  the  bones  in  a  secret  place,  and  built  upon 
them  a  temple  to  Aphrodite,  and  as  they  could  not 
return  to  Crete  because  the  Cretans  had  burned  their 

1  "II."  14,  321;  18,  593;  "  Odyss."  19,  178;  11,  568. 

3  "  Odyss."  11,  523.  3  Diod.  4,  60. 

4  Serv.  ad  "  ^neid."  6,  30. 

6  Hesych.  «T'  Vvpvyvg  dywv ;  Plut.  "  Thes."  c.  15 ;  Diod.  4,  65. 
8  Apollodor.  1,  9,  26;  Suidas,  S 

7  Herod.  7,  110. 


ships,  they  founded  the  city  Minoa  in  Sicily ;  but  the 
tomb  of  Minos  was  shown  in  Crete  also.1 

A  bull-god  carries  the  daughter  of  Phoenix  over  the  sea 
to  Crete  and  begets  Minos ;  a  bull  who  rises  out  of  the 
sea  begets  with  Pasiphae,  i.  e.  the  all-shining,  the  Minos- 
bull,  to  which  in  case  of  blight  and  famine  boys  and  girls 
are  sacrificed  in  the  number  sacred  among  the  Semites  ; 
Androgeos  succumbs  to  the  heat  of  the  bull  of  Mara- 
thon, an  iron  man  slays  his  victims  by  pressing  them 
to  his  glowing  breast.  These  legends  of  the  Greeks 
are  unmistakable  evidence  of  the  origin  of  the  rites 
observed  in  Crete  from  the  coast  of  Syria,  of  the  settle- 
ment of  Phenicians  in  Crete.  The  bull-god  may  be 
the  Baal  Samim  or  the  Baal  Moloch  of  the  Phenicians  ; 
Europa  has  already  revealed  herself  to  us  as  the  moon- 
goddess  of  the  Phenicians  (p.  58)  ;  Pasiphae  is  only 
another  name  for  the  same  goddess,  the  lady  of  the 
nightly  sky,  the  starry  heaven.  We  know  that  on 
occasions  of  blight  human  sacrifices  were  offered  to 
Baal  Moloch,  the  fiery,  consuming,  angry  sun-god,  and 
that  these  sacrifices  were  burnt.  Ister,  a  writer  of  the 
third  century  B.C.,  tells  us  quite  simply ;  In  ancient 
times  children  were  sacrificed  to  Cronos  in  Crete.2 
Before  the  harbour  of  Megara  lay  an  island  of  the 
name  of  Minoa ;  at  the  time  of  the  summer  heat 
before  the  corn  was  ripe,  the  Athenians  offered  peace- 
offerings  at  the  Thargelia,  "  in  the  place  of  human 
sacrifices,"  3  that  the  consuming  sun  might  not  kill  the 
harvest.  The  name  of  the  island  and  this  custom,  as 
well  as  the  flames  of  the  bull  of  Marathon,  prove  that 
beside  the  worship  of  the  Syrian  goddess  at  Athmonon, 
and  the  worship  of  Melkarth  at  Marathon,  the  worship 
of  Baal  Moloch  had  penetrated  as  far  as  Megara  and 

1  Diod.  4,  76—73  ;  Schol.  Callim.  "  Hymn,  in  Jovem,"  8. 

2  Istri  frag.  47,  ed.  Muller.  3  Istri  frag.  33,  ed.  Muller. 



Attica.  Minos,  the  son  of  the  sky-god,  the  husband  of 
the  moon-goddess,  who  from  time  to  time  receives  reve- 
lations from  heaven,  and  even  after  his  death  is  judge  of 
the  dead,  is  himself  a  god ;  his  proper  name  is  Minotaur, 
a  name  taken  from  the  form  of  the  bull's  image  and  the 
bull's  head.  When  Baal  Melkarth  had  found  and  over- 
come Astarte,  after  he  had  celebrated  with  her  the  holy 
marriage,  he  went  to  rest  according  to  the  Phenician 
myth  in  the  waters  of  the  western  sea  which  he  had 
warmed.  The  Phenicians  were  of  opinion  that  the 
beams  of  the  sun  when  sinking  there  in  the  far  west 
had  the  most  vigorous  operation  because  of  their 
greater  proximity.1  Minos  goes  to  Sicily ;  there  in  a 
hot  bath  he  ends  his  life,  and  over  his  resting-place 
rises  the  temple  of  Astarte-Ashera,  with  whom  he 
celebrated  his  marriage  in  the  west,  and  who  by  this 
marriage  is  changed  from  the  goddess  of  war  into  the 
goddess  of  love.  The  tombs  of  Minos  in  Crete,  Sicily, 
and  finally  at  Gades,  of  which  the  Greeks  speak,  are 
in  the  meaning  of  the  Phenician  myth  merely  resting- 
places  of  the  god,  who  in  the  spring  wakes  from  his 
slumber  into  new  power.  The  Greeks  made  Minos, 
who  continued  to  live  in  the  under-world,  a  judge  in 
the  causes  of  the  shades,  and  finally  a  judge  of  the 
souls  themselves.  On  the  southern  coast  of  Sicily,  at 
the  mouth  of  the  Halycus,  lay  the  city  which  the 
Greeks  called  Minoa  or  Heraclea-Minoa  after  Minos. 
To  the  Phenicians  it  was  known  as  Eus  Melkarth  (p. 
78),  a  title  which  proves  beyond  doubt  that  Minos  was 
one  of  the  names  given  by  the  Greeks  to  this  god  of 
the  Phenicians. 

The  worship  of  Baal  Moloch,  which  the  Phenicians 
brought  to  Crete  and  the  shores  of  Megara  and 
Attica,  was  not  all  that  the  Greeks  personified  in  the 

1  MullenhoflP,  "  Deutsche  Alterthumskunde,"  i.  222. 


form  of  Minos ;  they  did  not  confine  themselves  to  one 
side  of  the  myth  of  Baal  Melkarth.  When  Grecian 
colonists  settled  subsequently  in  Crete  they  found 
the  cities  of  the  Phenicians  full  of  t  artistic  capacity, 
and  their  life  regulated  by  legal  ordinances.  Thus 
their  legend  could  place  the  artist  Dsedalus,  the 
discoverer  and  pattern  of  all  art  -  industry,  beside 
Minos,  and  refer  to  Minos  the  ordinances  of  the  cities. 
Zeus  himself  had  revealed  these  arrangements  to  him. 
At  a  later  time  the  Greek  cities  of  Crete  traced  their  own 
institutions  back  to  Minos  ;  here  and  there  they  may 
perhaps  have  followed  a  Phenician  model,  or  they  may 
have  given  out  that  such  a  model  had  been  followed. 
Plato  represents  Minos  as  receiving  the  wise  laws 
which  he  introduced  into  Crete  from  Zeus.  With 
Aristotle  also  Minos  is  the  founder  of  the  Cretan  laws.1 
In  the  circle  of  the  Cabiri  the  sky-god  Baal  Samim  was 
the  protector  and  defender  of  law  (I.  377). 

Lastly,  Minos  is  with  the  Greeks  at  once  the  repre- 
sentation and  expression  of  the  dominion  which  the 
Phenicians  exercised  in  ancient  times  over  the  islands 
of  the  ^Egean  sea,  before  the  settlements  of  the  Greeks 
obtained  the  supremacy  over  the  islands  and  the  ships 
of  the  Greeks  took  the  lead  in  these  waters.  In  the 
age  of  the  Heroes,  so  Herodotus  tells  us,  Minos  estab- 
lished the  first  naval  empire ;  the  Carians,  who  inhabited 
the  islands,  he  made  his  subjects  ;  they  did  not  indeed 
pay  tribute,  but  they  had  to  man  his  ships  whenever 
necessary.2  "  The  oldest  king,"  says  Thucydides,  "  of 
whom  tradition  tells  us  that  he  possessed  a  fleet  was 
Minos.  He  ruled  over  the  greatest  part  of  the  Greek 
sea  and  the  Cyclades,  which  he  colonised,  driving  out 

1  Plato,  "  Minos,"  pp.  262,  266,  319,  321 ;  "  De.  Legg,"  init.;  Aiistot. 
"Pol."  2,  8,  1,  2;  7,  9,  2. 

2  Herod.  1,  171 ;  3,  122 ;  7,  169—171. 



the  Carians  and  making  his  sons  lords  of  the  islands." 
Minos,  as  a  king  ruling  by  law,  is  then  said  to  have 
put  an  end  to  piracy. 

The  Phenicians  could  not  certainly  have  left  out 
of  sight  the  largest  of  the  islands,  which  forms  the 
boundary  of  the  ^Egean  sea  ;  and  the  traditions  of  the 
Greeks  can  hardly  go  wrong  if  they  make  this  island 
the  centre  of  the  naval  supremacy  of  Minos,  i.  e.  of 
the  supremacy  of  the  Phenicians  over  the  Cyclades. 
Crete  must  have  been  the  mainstay  of  their  activity  in 
the  .^Egean,  just  as  Thebes  was  the  point  on  the  main- 
land where  they  planted  the  firmest  foot.  The  title 
Minoa  seems  to  lie  at  the  base  of  the  name  of  Minos,  a 
title  borne  not  only  by  the  island  off  Megara  and  the 
city  in  Sicily,  but  also  by  two  cities  in  Crete  (one  on 
the  promontory  of  Drepanum,  the  other  in  the  region 
of  Lyctus),  by  some  islands  near  Crete,  a  city  in 
Amorgus,  and  a  city  in  Siphnus.  The  name  Minoa 
(from  navah}  could  mean  dwelling ;  it  is  certain  evi- 
dence of  a  Phenician  settlement.  But  the  Phenicians 
have  left  traces  of  their  existence  in  Crete  beside  the 
names  Minos  and  Minoa  and  the  forms  of  worship 
denoted  by  them.  Coins  of  the  Cretan  cities  Gortys 
and  Phsestus  exhibit  a  bull  or  a  bull-headed  man  as 
a  stamp.  Near  the  Cretan  city  of  Cydonia  the  Jar- 
danus,  i.  e.  the  Jordan,  falls  into  the  sea ;  the  name 
of  the  city  Labana  goes  back  to  the  Phenician  word 
libanon,  i.  e.  "  white."  Cnossus,  the  abode  of  Minos  in 
Homer  and  Herodotus,2  was  previously  named  Kairatus; 
Karath  in  Phenician  means  city.  Itanus,  in  Crete 
(JEthanath  in  the  Semitic  form),  is  expressly  stated  to  be 
a  foundation  of  the  Phenicians.3 

With  regard  to  the  state  of  civilisation  reached  by 

1  Herod.  1,  4.  2  Herod.  3,  122. 

3  Strabo,  p.  476 ;  Steph.  Byz.  'I 


Syria  before  the  year  1500  B.C.,  we  may  draw  some 
conclusions  from  the  fact  that  not  merely  did  the 
civilisation  of  Egypt  influence  the  shepherds  of  Semitic 
race  who  ruled  over  Egypt  at  that  period,  but  that 
Semitic  manners  and  customs  left  behind  traces  in 
Egypt  (I.  128).  Hence  we  may  assume  that  the 
Syrians  carried  their  wine  and  their  oil  to  the  Nile  at 
the  time  when  their  kinsmen  ruled  there  (1  950 — 1650 
B.C.).  The  civilisation  of  Syria  appears  more  clearly 
from  the  tributes  imposed  by  Tuthmosis  III.  on  Syria, 
which  are  here  and  there  illustrated  by  the  pictures 
accompanying  the  inscriptions  of  this  Pharaoh.  The 
burdens  imposed  on  the  Syrians  consist  not  only  of 
corn,  wine,  oil  and  horses ;  not  only  of  gold,  silver 
and  iron,  but  also  of  arms  and  works  of  art,  among 
which  the  pictures  allow  us  to  recognise  carefully- 
decorated  vessels.  On  the  other  hand,  it  is  clear  from 
the  fact  that  the  Babylonian  weights  and  measures  were 
in  use  in  Syria  at  this  time  (I.  304)  that  the  Syrians 
before  this  period  were  in  lively  intercourse  with  the 
land  of  the  Euphrates,  that  even  before  the  sixteenth 
century  B.C.  caravans  must  have  traversed  the  Syrian 
deserts  in  every  direction,  and  even  then  the  Syrians 
must  have  exchanged  the  products  of  their  land  for 
Babylonian  stuffs  and  the  frankincense  which  the 
Arabians  on  their  part  carried  to  Babylon.  The 
dependence  of  Syria  on  Egypt  under  the  Tuthmosis 
and  Amenophis  can  only  have  augmented  the  inter- 
course of  the  Syrians  with  the  land  of  the  Nile. 
Afterwards  Sethos  I.  (1440 — 1400)  caused  wood  to 
be  felled  on  Lebanon ;  it  must  have  been  the  places  on 
the  coast  under  Lebanon  which  carried  to  Egypt  in 
their  ships,  along  with  the  wine  and  oil  of  the  coast  and 
the  interior,  the  wood  so  necessary  there  for  building 
and  exchanged  it  for  the  fabrics  of  Egypt.  Wood  for 


building  could  not  be  conveyed  on  the  backs  of  camels, 
and  the  way  by  sea  from  the  Phenician  towns  to  the 
mouths  of  the  Nile  was  far  easier  and  less  dangerous 
than  the  road  by  land  over  rocky  heights  and  through 
sandy  deserts.  Hence,  as  early  as  the  fifteenth  century 
B.C.,  we  may  regard  the  Phenician  cities  as  the  central 
points  of  a  trade  branching  east  and  west,  which  must 
have  been  augmented  by  the  fact  that  they  conveyed 
not  only  products  of  the  Syrian  land  to  the  Euphrates 
and  the  Nile,  but  could  also  carry  the  goods  which 
they  obtained  in  exchange  in  Egypt  to  Babylonia,  and 
what  they  obtained  beyond  the  Euphrates  to  Egypt. 
At  the  same  time  the  fabrics  of  Babylon  and  Egypt 
roused  them  to  emulation,  and  called  forth  an  industry 
among  the  Phenicians  which  we  see  producing  woven 
stuffs,  vessels  of  clay  and  metal,  ornaments  and 
weapons,  and  becoming  pre-eminent  in  the  colouring 
of  stuffs  with  the  liquor  of  the  purple-fish,  which  are 
found  on  the  Phenician  coasts.  This  industry  required 
above  all  things  metals,  of  which  Babylonia  and  Egypt 
were  no  less  in  need,  and  when  the  purple-fish  of  their 
own  coasts  were  no  longer  sufficient  for  their  extensive 
dyeing,  colouring-matter  had  to  be  obtained.  Large 
quantities  of  these  fish  produced  a  proportionately  small 
amount  of  the  dye.  Copper-ore  was  found  in  Cyprus, 
gold  in  the  island  of  Thasos,  and  purple-fish  on  the 
coasts  of  Hellas.  When  the  fall  of  the  kingdom  of  the 
Hittites  and  the  overthrow  of  the  Amorite  princes  iii 
the  south  of  Canaan  augmented  the  numbers  of  the 
population  on  the  coast,  these  cities  were  no  longer 
content  to  obtain  those  possessions  of  the  islands  by 
merely  landing  and  making  exchanges  with  the  inhabit- 
ants. Intercourse  with  semi-barbarous  tribes  must  be 
protected  by  the  sword.  Good  harbours  were  needed 
where  the  ships  could  be  sheltered  from  storm  and  bad 


weather,  where  the  crews  could  find  safety  from  the 
natives,  rest  and  fresh  stores  of  water  and  provisions. 
Thus  arose  protecting  forts  on  the  distant  islands  and 
coasts,  which  received  the  ships  of  the  native  land. 
Under  the  protection  of  these  intercourse  could  be 
carried  on  with  the  natives,  and  they  were  points  of 
support  for  the  collection  of  the  fish  and  the  sinking 
of  mines. 

In  order  to  obtain  the  raw  material  necessary  for 
their  industry  no  less  than  to  carry  off  the  surplus  of 
population,  the  Phenicians  were,  brought  to  colonise 
Cyprus,  Rhodes,  Crete,  Thera,  Melos,  Oliarus,  Samo- 
thrace,  Imbros,  Lemnos  and  Thasos.  In.  the  bays  of 
Laconia  and  Argos,  in  the  straits  of  Euboea,1  purple- 
fish  were  found  in  extraordinary  quantities.  The 
Phenicians  settled  in  the  island  of  Cythera  in  the  bay 
of  Laconia,  which,  as  Aristotle  says,  was  once  called 
Porphyrussa  from  its  purple-fish,2  and  there  erected 
that  ancient  temple  to  the  oriental  Aphrodite,  Aphrodite 
in  armour,  just  as  in  Attica  in  the  deme  of  Athmonon 
they  founded  the  temple  of  the  Syrian  Aphrodite  and 
excavated  the  tombs  on  Hymettus.3  Midway  between 
the  straits  of  Euboea  and  the  bay  of  Corinth,  which 
abounded  with  purple-fish,  rose  the  strong  fortress 
of  the  Cadmeia,  and  on  Acrocorinthus  the  shrine  of 

Herodotus  and  Thucydides  told  us  above  (p.  67) 
that  the  Carians  inhabited  the  islands  of  the  ^Egean 
sea.  These  were  they  whom  Minos  had  made  subject 
to  his  dominion.  Beside  this,  we  are  informed  more 
particularly  that  the  Carians  had  possessed  the  island 
of  Rhodes,  which  lay  off  their  coast,  and  had  dwelt  on 
Chios  and  Samos  (I.  571).  What  degree  of  civilisation 

1  Pausan.  3,  21,  6.  2  Aristotle,  in  Steph.  Byz.  Kv6t)pa. 

3  Above,  p.  63. 


was  reached  by  the  population  of  the  islands  of  the 
^Egean  sea  before  the  Phenicians  came  into  relations 
with  them  may  be  inferred  to  some  extent  from  the  dis- 
coveries made  in  the  island  of  Thera.  In  and  beneath 
three  layers  of  ashes  and  tufa  caused  by  vast  eruptions 
of  the  voleanos  of  this  island  have  been  discovered 
stone  instruments,  pottery  of  the  most  rudimentary 
kind,  in  part  with  the  rudest  indications  of  the  human 
face  and  figure,  and  beside  these  weapons  of  copper 
and  brass.  In  the  upper  layers  of  the  tufa  we  find  far 
better  pottery  decorated  in  the  Phenician  style.  On 
Melos  also,  and  in  the  tombs  at  Camirus  in  Rhodes, 
vessels  of  the  same  kind  have  been  discovered ;  and, 
finally,  in  the  highest  of  the  layers  at  Thera  are  gold 
ornaments  of  the  most  various  kinds,  and  ornaments  of 
electron,  i.  e.  of  mixed  gold  and  silver,  all  of  a  work- 
manship essentially  non-Hellenic.  From  these  facts 
we  may  draw  the  conclusion  that  the  ships  of  the 
Phenicians  brought  to  these  inhabitants  their  earliest 
weapons  in  brass  and  copper,  their  pottery  and  orna- 
ments ;  that  the  Carians  of  the  islands,  following  these 
patterns,  raised  their  own  efforts  to  a  higher  stage, 
and  that  afterwards  the  Phenicians  themselves  settled 
in  the  islands  and  made  themselves  masters  of  them. 
Perhaps  we  may  even  go  a  step  further.  In  the 
lower  strata  of  the  excavations  at  Hissarlik,  on  the 
Trojan  coast,  we  find  exactly  the  same  primitive 
pottery,  with  the  same  indications  of  human  forms,  as 
in  Thera,  while  in  the  refuse  lying  above  this  are  idols 
and  pottery  adorned  after  Phenician  patterns,  which 
correspond  exactly  to  the  idols  of  Cyprus,  as  well  as 
ornaments  like  those  of  Thera.  Hence  in  this  region 
also  we  may  assume  that  the  Phenicians  gave  the 
impulse  and  the  example  to  the  development  of 
civilisation,  and  the  more  so  as  the  name  of  the 


city  of  Adramyttion  on  the  Trojan  coast  repeats  the 
name  of  a  Phenician  foundation  on  the  coast  of  North 
Africa  (Adrames,  Hadrumetum),  and  even  Strabo 
ascribes  the  worship  of  the  Cabiri  to  some  places  on 
the  Trojan  coast.1  Far  more  definite  traces  of  the 
Phenician  style  and  skill  are  in  existence  on  the  shore 
of  the  bay  of  Argos.  The  ancient  tombs  which  have  been 
recently  discovered  behind  the  lions'  gate  at  Mycenae 
are  hewn  in  the  rocks  after  the  manner  of  the  Phenicians. 
As  in  the  ancient  burying-places  of  the  Phenicians,  a 
perpendicular  shaft  forms  the  entrance  to  the  sepul- 
chral chambers;  the  corpses  are  laid  in  them  without 
coffins,  as  was  the  most  ancient  custom  in  Phoenicia. 
The  masks  of  beaten  gold-leaf  which  were  found  on 
the  faces  of  five  or  six  of  the  corpses  buried  here  are 
evidence  of  a  custom  which  the  Phenicians  borrowed 
from  the  gilded  faces  of  Egyptian  coffins.2  The  corpses 
are  covered  with  gold  ornaments  and  other  decorations. 
There  is  a  large  number  of  weapons  and  ornaments  of 
gold,  silver,  copper,  brass  and  glass  in  the  tombs  ;  the 
execution  exhibits  a  technical  skill  sometimes  more, 
sometimes  less  practised.  The  ornaments  remind  us 
of  Babylonian  and  Assyrian  patterns ;  the  idols  in  burnt 
clay  are  in  the  Phenician  style ;  the  palm-leaves  and 
palms,  antelopes  and  leopards  which  frequently  occur, 
point  to  regions  of  the  East ;  the  articles  of  amber  and 
the  ostrich  egg  can  only  have  reached  the  bay  of  Argos 
in  Phenician  ships.  Still  there  are  grave  reasons  for 
refusing  to  believe  that  the  persons  buried  in  this 
tomb  are  princes  of  the  Phenicians.  The  numerous 
pieces  of  armour  show  that  the  dead  who  rest  here 
were  buried  with  their  armour,  which  is  not  the  tradi- 
tional custom  either  with  regard  to  the  Phenicians  or 
the  Hellenes,  but  which  Thucydides  quotes  as  a  mark 

1  Strabo,  p.  479.  2  Below,  chap.  11. 


of  the  tombs  of  the  Carians.1  We  learn,  moreover, 
even  from  the  Homeric  poems,  that  the  Carians  loved 
gold  ornaments,  and  further,  that  the  Greeks  improved 
their  armour  after  the  pattern  of  the  Carians  (I.  572). 
As  we  also  find  the  double  axe  of  the  Carian  god,  the 
"  Zeus  Stratius  "  as  the  Greeks  called  him,  the  "  axe- 
god,"  the  Chars-El  in  the  Carian  language  (I.  573),  on 
some  ornaments  of  the  tombs  of  Mycenae,  the  suppos- 
ition forces  itself  upon  us  that  Carians  from  the  western 
islands  must  have  occupied  the  shore  of  the  bay  of 
Argos.  In  any  case,  the  tombs  of  Mycenae,  both  from 
their  position  and  their  contents,  announce  to  us  that 
the  people  who  excavated  them  and  placed  their  dead 
in  them  were  dependent  on  the  style  and  skill  of  the 

Can  we  fix  the  time  at  which  the  Phenicians  first 
set  foot  on  the  islands  of  Hellas  ?  Herodotus  tells  us 
that  Troy  was  taken  in  the  third  generation  after  the 
death  of  Minos.2  If  we  put  three  full  generations, 
according  to  the  calculation  of  Herodotus,  between  the 
death  of  Minos  and  the  conquest  of  Ilium,  the  first 
event  took  place  100  years  before  the  second.  Since, 
according  to  the  data  of  Herodotus,  the  capture  of 
Ilium  falls  in  the  year  1280  or  1260  B.C.,  Minos 
would  have  died  in  the  year  1380  or  1360  B.C.  The 
landing  of  the  Phenicians  on  Thasos  and  the  expedi- 
tion of  Cadmus  from  Phoenicia  beyond  the  islands  to 
Boeotia  are  placed  by  Herodotus  five  generations  before 
Heracles,  and  Heracles  is  placed  900  years  before  his 
own  time.  If  we  reckon  upwards  from  the  year  450 
or  430  B.C.,  Heracles  lived  about  the  year  1350  or  1330 
B.C.,  and  Cadmus  five  generations,  i.  e.  166f  years, 
before  this  date,  or  about  the  year  1516  or  1496  B.C.3 
On  the  island  of  Thera,  Herodotus  further  remarks,  the 

1  Time.  1,  8.        2  Herod.  7,  171.        3  Herod.  2,  44,  145. 


Phenicians  whom  Cadmus  left  behind  him  there  had 
dwelt  for  eight  generations,  i.  e.  266f  years,  before  the 
Dorians  came  to  the  island.1  Melos  was  also  occupied 
by  Dorians,  who  asserted  in  416  B.C.  that  their  com- 
munity had  been  in  existence  700  years,2  according  to 
which  statement  the  Dorians  came  to  Melos  in  the 
year  1116  B.C.  With  this  event  the  Phenician  rule 
over  the  island  came  to  an  end.  If  we  assume  that 
Thera,  which  is  close  by  Melos,  was  taken  from  the 
Phenicians  by  the  Dorians  at  the  same  time  as  the 
latter  island,  the  eight  generations  given  by  Herodotus 
for  the  settlements  of  the  Phenicians  on  Thera  would 
carry  us  back  to  the  year  1382  B.C.  (1116  +  266|),  a 
date  which  is  certainly  in  agreement  with  his  state- 
ment about  the  death  of  Minos,  but  contradicts  the 
date  given  for  Cadmus,  who  yet,  according  to  the 
narrative  of  Herodotus,  left  behind  the  settlers  on 
Thera  and  Thasos  when  he  first  sailed  to  Bceotia. 
Herodotus  fixes  dates  according  to  generations  and  the 
genealogies  of  legend.  The  five  generations  which 
separated  Cadmus  from  Heracles  were  for  him,  no 
doubt,  Polydorus,  Labdacus,  Laius,  (Edipus  and  Poly- 
nices ;  for  the  three  generations  between  the  death  of 
Minos  and  the  capture  of  Troy  we  find  in  Homer  only 
two,  Deucalion  and  Idomeneus.3  But  we  can  still 
find  from  Herodotus'  calculations  how  far  back  the 
Greeks  placed  the  beginning  and  the  end  of  the  em- 
pire of  the  Phenicians  over  their  islands  and  coasts. 
Beyond  this  the  chronographers  do  not  give  us  any  help. 
Eusebius  and  Hieronymus  (Jerome)  place  the  rape  of 
Europa  in  the  year  1429  or  1426  B.C.  ;  the  rule  of 
Cadmus  at  Thebes  in  the  year  1427  B.C.  or  1319 
(1316)  B.C.  ;  the  settlement  of  the  Phenicians  on 

1  Herod.  4,  147.  2  Thuc.  5,  112. 

3  Herod.  5,  89;  "H."  13,451;  "  Odyss."  19,  178. 


Thera,  Melos,  and  Thasos  in  the  year  1415  B.C.  ;  the 
beginning  of  the  rule  of  Minos  in  the  year  1410  B.C., 
or,  according  to  another  computation,  in  the  year 
1251  B.C.1 

We  can  hardly  obtain  fixed  points  for  determining  the 
time  of  the  settlements  of  the  Phenicians  in  the  yEgean 
sea.  In  the  lower  strata  of  the  excavations  at  Hissarlik, 
on  the  coast  of  Troas,  clay  lentils  have  been  found  with 
Cyprian  letters  upon  them.2  Since  the  Greeks  declared 
that  they  learnt  their  alphabet  from,  the  Phenicians 
and  Cadmus,  and  since  as  a  fact  it  is  the  alphabet  of 
the  Phenicians  which  lies  at  the  root  of  the  Greek,  the 
Cyprian  letters  can  only  have  been  brought  thither  by 
Phenician  ships  from  Cyprus  before  the  discovery  of  the 
Phenician  letters,  or  from  the  islands  off  the  Trojan 
coast  occupied  by  the  Phenicians,  from  Lemnos,  Imbros 
and  Samothrace  ;  otherwise  they  must  have  come  to  the 
Troad  at  a  later  time  by  Cyprian  ships  or  settlers,  a 
supposition  which  is  forbidden  by  the  antiquity  of  the 
other  remains  discovered  with  or  near  the  lentils. 
Among  the  sons  of  Japheth,  the  representative  of  the 
northern  nations,  Genesis  mentions  Javan,  i.  e.  the 
Ionian,  the  Greek ;  and  enumerates  the  sons  of  Javan : 
Elisha,  Tarshish,  Chittim,  and  Dodanim  or  Rodanim — 
the  reading  is  uncertain.3  It  is  a  question  whether  the 
genealogical  table  in  Genesis  belongs  to  the  first  or 
second  text  of  the  Pentateuch,  i.  e.  whether  it  was 
written  down  in  the  middle  of  the  eleventh  or  of  the 
tenth  century  B.C.  In  any  case  it  follows  that  in  the 
beginning  of  the  eleventh  or  tenth  century  B.C.  the  name 
and  nation  of  the  lonians  was  known  not  only  in  the 

1  Euseb.  "Chron."  2,  p.  34  seqq.  ed.  Scheme.    Even  in  Diodorus,  4, 
60,  we  find  two  Minoses,  an  older  and  a  younger. 

2  Lenormant,  "  Antiq.  de  la  Troade,"  p.  32. 

3  Genesis  x.  2 — 4  ;  1  Chron.  i.  5 — 7. 


h arbour- cities  of  Phoenicia,  but  in  the  interior  of  Syria, 
and  the  inhabitants  of  the  islands  and  of  the  northern 
coasts  of  the  Mediterranean  were  reckoned  in  the  stock 
of  these  lonians.  Chittim  is,  as  was  remarked  above, 
primarily  the  island  of  Cyprus ;  the  Rodanim  are  the 
inhabitants  of  Rhodes  (Dodanim  would  have  to  be 
referred  to  Dodoria) ;  Elisha  is  Elis  in  the  Pelopomiese, 
or  the  island  of  Sicilv,  if  the  name  is  not  one  given 

«<   '  O 

generally  to  western  coasts  and  islands ; l  Tarshish  is 
Tartessus,  i.  e.  the  region  at  the  mouth  of  the  Guadal- 
quivir. If  Ezekiel  mentions  the  purple  which  the 
Phenicians  bring  from  "  the  isles  of  Elishah," 2  the 
islands  and  coasts  of  the  jEgean  sea  are  plainly  meant, 
on  which  the  Phenicians  collected  the  fish  for  their 
purple  dye.  This  much  is  clear,  that  at  least  about  the 
year  1000  B.C.  not  only  the  islands  and  coasts  of  the 
^Egean  were  known  in  Syria,  but  even  then  the  name 
of  the  distant  land  of  Tarshish  was  current  in  Syria.  We 
shall  further  see  that  as  early  as  1100  B.C.  Phenician 
ships  had  passed  the  straits  of  Gibraltar.  Hence  we 
may  conclude  that  the  Phenicians  must  have  set  foot 
on  Cyprus  about  the  year  1250  B.C.,  and  on  the  islands 
and  coasts  of  Hellas  about  the  year  1200  B.C. 

Thucydides  observes  that  in  ancient  times  the  Phe- 
nicians had  occupied  the  promontories  of  Sicily  and  the 
small  islands  lying  around  Sicily,  in  order  to  carry  on 
trade  with  the  Sicels.3  Diodorus  Siculus  tells  us  that 
when  the  Phenicians  extended  their  trade  to  the  western 
ocean  they  settled  in  the  island  of  Melite  (Malta), 
owing  to  its  situation  in  the  middle  of  the  sea  and 
excellent  harbours,  in  order  to  have  a  refuge  for  their 
ships.  The  island  of  Gaulus  also,  which  lies  close  to 
Melite,  is  said  to  have  been  a  colony  of  the  Phenicians.4 

1  Kiepert,  "  Monatsberichte  Berl.  Akad."  1859. 

2  Ezek.  xxvii.  7.  3  Thuc.  vi.  2.  4  Diod.  v.  12. 


On  the  south-eastern  promontory  of  Malta  there  was  a 
temple  of  Heracles-Melkarth,1  the  foundation  walls  of 
which  appear  to  be  still  in  existence,  and  still  more 
definite  evidence  of  the  former  population  of  this  island 
is  given  by  the  Phenician  inscriptions  found  there.  The 
island,  like  the  mother-country,  carried  on  weaving, 
and  the  products  were  much  sought  after  in  antiquity. 
On  Gaulus  also,  a  name  mentioned  on  Phenician  coins, 
are  the  remains  of  a  Phenician  temple.  Between  Sicily 
and  the  coast  of  Africa,  where  it  approaches  Sicily 
most  nearly,  lay  the  island  of  Cossyra,  coins  of  which 
bear  Phenician  legends.  Along  with  a  dwarfish  figure 
they  present  the  name  "  island  of  the  sons," 2  i.  e.  no 
doubt,  the  children  of  the  sun-god  whom  we  met  with 
in  Rhodes.  On  the  east  coast  of  Sicily  there  lay,  on  a 
small  promontory  scarcely  connected  with  the  main- 
land (now  Isola  degli  Magnisi),  the  city  of  Thapsos,  the 
name  of  which  reveals  its  founders ;  Tiphsach  means 
coming  over,  here  coming  over  to  the  mainland.  In 
the  same  way  the  promontory  of  Pachynus  (pachun 
means  wart),  further  to  the  south,  and  the  harbour 
of  Phcenicus  are  evidence  of  Phenician  colonisation. 
On  the  south  coast  of  Sicily,  not  far  from  the  mouth  of 
the  Halycus,  the  Phenicians  built  that  city  which  is 
known  to  the  Greeks  as  Makara  and  Minoa,  or  Heraclea- 
minoa;  the  coins  of  the  city  present  in  Phenician 
characters  the  name  Rus-Melkart,  i.  e.  "  head  (promon- 
tory) of  Melkarth."  3  Off  the  west  coast  of  Sicily  the 
Phenicians  occupied  the  small  island  of  Motye.4  On  this 
coast  of  the  larger  island,  on  Mount  Eryx,  which  rises 
steeply  out  of  a  bald  table  land  (2000  feet  above  the 
sea),  they  founded  the  city  of  Eryx,  and  on  the  summit 

1  Ptolem.  4,  3,  47. 

2  Ai  benim;  Movers,  "  Phceniz."  2,  355,  359,  362. 

3  Heracl.  Pont.  frag.  29,  ed.  Miiller;  Gesen.  "  Monum."  p.  293; 
Olshausen,  "  Eh.  Mus."  1852,  S.  328.  4Thuc.  6,  2. 


of  the  mount,  5000  feet  high,  they  built  a  temple  to 
the  Syrian  Aphrodite.  In  Diodorus  it  is  Eryx  the  son 
of  Aphrodite  who  builds  this  temple ;  ^Eneas  then 
adorns  it  with  many  votive  offerings,  "  since  it  was 
dedicated  to  his  mother."1  Virgil  represents  the 
temple  as  being  founded  on  the  summit  of  Eryx, 
near  to  the  stars,  in  honour  of  Venus  Idalia,  i.  e.  the 
goddess  worshipped  at  Idalion  (Idial)  on  Cyprus  by 
the  immigrants  from  the  East,  who,  with  him,  are  the 
companions  of  ^Eneas.2  The  courtezans  at  this  temple, 
the  sensual  character  of  the  worship,  and  the  sacred 
doves  kept  here  (in  a  red  one  the  goddess  herself  was 
supposed  to  be  seen3),  even  without  the  Phenician 
inscriptions  found  there,  would  leave  no  doubt  of  its 
Syrian  origin.  The  mighty  substructure  of  the  build- 
ing is  still  in  existence.  Daedalus  is  said  to  have  built 
it  for  the  king  of  the  Sicanians  (p.  64).  Beside  the 
Syrian  goddess,  the  Phenicians  also  worshipped  here 
the  Syrian  god  Baal  Melkarth.  According  to  the 
account  of  Diodorus,  Heracles  overcame  Eryx  in  wrest- 
ling, and  so  took  his  land  from  him,  though  he  left  the 
usufruct  of  it  to  the  inhabitants.4  The  kings  of  Sparta 
traced  their  origin  to  Heracles.  When  Dorieus,  the 
son  of  Anaxandridas,  king  of  Sparta,  desired  to  emi- 
grate in  his  anger  that  the  crown  had  fallen  to  his 
brother  Cleomenes,  the  oracle  bade  him  retire  to  Eryx  ; 
the  land  of  Eryx  belonged  to  the  Heraclids  because 
their  ancestor  won  it.  The  Carthaginians,  it  is  true, 
did  not  acknowledge  this  right ;  Dorieus  was  slain,  and 
most  of  those  who  followed  him.5  On  the  north  coast 
of  Sicily,  Panormus  (Palermo)  and  Soloeis  were  the 

1  Diod.  4,  83.  2  "  -Sin."  5,  760. 

3  Diod.  4,  83;  Strabo,  p.  272  ;  Atheuseus,  p.  374;  Aelian,  "Hist. 
An."  4,  2  ;  10,  50. 

4  Diod.  4,  23.  5  Herod.  5,  43. 


most  important  colonies  of  the  Phenicians.  Panormus, 
on  coins  of  the  Phenicians  Machanath,  i.  e.  the  camp, 
worshipped  the  goddess  of  the  sexual  passion  ;  Soloeis 
(sela,  rock)  worshipped  Melkarth.  In  a  hymn  to 
Aphrodite,  Sappho  inquires  whether  she  lingers  in 
Cyprus  or  at  Panormus.1  Motye,  Soloeis  and  Panormus 
were  in  the  fifth  century  the  strongest  outposts  of  the 
Carthaginians  in  Sicily.2 

On  Sardinia  also,  as  Diodorus  tells  us,  the  Phenicians 
planted  many  colonies.3  The  mountains  of  Sardinia  con- 
tained iron,  silver,  and  lead.  According  to  the  legend 
of  the  Greeks,  Sardus,  the  son  of  Makeris,  as  the  Libyans 
called  Heracles,  first  came  with  Libyans  to  the  island. 
Then  Heracles  sent  his  brother's  son  lolaus,  together 
with  his  own  sons,  whom  he  had  begotten  in  Attica, 
to  Sardinia.  As  Heracles  had  been  lord  of  the  whole 
West,  these  regions  belonged  of  right  to  lolaus  and 
his  companions.  lolaus  conquered  the  native  inhabit- 
ants, took  possession  of  and  divided  the  best  and  most 
level  portion  of  the  land  which  was  afterwards  known 
by  the  name  of  lolaus;  then  he  sent  for  Daedalus  out 
of  Sicily  and  erected  large  buildings,  which,  Diodorus 
adds,  are  still  in  existence ;  but  in  Sicily  temples  were 
erected  to  himself,  and  honour  paid  as  to  a  hero,  and 
a  famous  shrine  was  erected  in  Agyrion,  "  where,"  as 
Diodorus  remarks  of  this  his  native  city,  "  even  to  this 
day  yearly  sacrifices  are  offered."  4  Makeris,  the  sup- 
posed father  of  Sardus,  is,  like  Makar,  a  form  of  the 
name  Melkarth.  If  Sardinia  and  the  whole  West  as  well 
as  Eryx  is  said  to  have  belonged  to  Heracles,  if  Heracles 
sends  out  his  nearest  relations  to  Sardinia,  if  the  artist 

1  Steph.  Byz.  SoXoi/c.   Sapphon.   frag.  6,  ed.  Bergk;  it  is  possible 
that  Panormus  on  Crete  may  be  meant. 

2  Time.  6,  2.  *  Diod.  5,  35. 

4  Diod.  4,  24,  29,  30;  5,  15  ;  Arist.  "  De  mirab.  ausc."  c.  104;  Pausan. 
10,  17,  2. 


Daedalus  is  his  companion  here  as  he  was  the  companion 
of  Minos  in  Crete  and  Sicily,  it  becomes  obvious  that 
the  temples  of  Baal  Melkarth  on  the  coasts  of  Sardinia 
and  Sicily  lie  at  the  base  of  these  legends  of  the  Greeks, 
that  it  was  the  Phenicians  who  brought  the  worship 
of  their  god  along  with  their  colonies  to  these  coasts, 
to  which  they  were  led  by  the  wealth  of  the  Sardinian 
mountains  in  copper.  As  we  already  ventured  to 
suppose  (I.  368),  lolaus  may  be  an  epithet  or  a  special 
form  of  Baal.1 

The  legend  of  the  Greeks  makes  Heracles,  i.  e.  Baal 
Melkarth,  lord  of  the  whole  West.  As  a  fact,  the  colo- 
nies of  the  Phenicians  went  beyond  Sardinia  in  this 
direction.  Their  first  colonies  on  the  north  coast  of 
Africa  appear  to  have  been  planted  where  the  shore 
runs  out  nearest  Sicily ;  Hippo  was  apparently  re- 
garded as  the  oldest  colony.2  In  the  legends  of  the 
coins  mentioned  above  (p.  53)  Hippo  is  named  beside 
Tyre  and  Citium  as  a  daughter  of  Sidon.  When  a 
second  Hippo  was  afterwards  founded  further  to  the 
west,  opposite  the  south  coast  of  Sardinia,  at  the  mouth 
of  the  Ubus,  the  old  Hippo  got  the  name  of  "  Ippo- 
acheret,"  and  among  the  Greeks  "  Hippon  Zarytos," 
i.  e.  "the  other  Hippo."3  Ttyke  (atak,  settlement, 
Utica),  on  the  mouth  of  the  Bagradas  (Medsherda), 
takes  the  next  place  after  this  Hippo,  if  indeed  it  was 
not  founded  before  it.  Aristotle  tells  us  that  the 
Phenicians  stated  that  Ityke  was  built  287  years 
before  Carthage,4  and  Pliny  maintains  that  Ityke  was 
founded  1178  years  before  his  time.5  As  Carthage 
was  founded  in  the  year  846  B.C.  (below,  chap.  11), 

1  Movers  ("  Phceniz."  1,  536)  assumes  that  lolaus  maybe  identical 
with  Esmun  (I.  377). 

2  SaUust,  "  Jugurtha,"  19,  1. 

3  Movers,  loc.  cit.  a,  144.  4  "De  mirab.  ausc."  c.  146. 
6  "Hist,  nat."  16,  79. 

VOL.  n.  o 


Ityke,  according  to  Aristotle's  statement,  was  built  in 
the  year  1133  B.C.  With  this  the  statement  of  Pliny 
agrees.  He  wrote  in  the  years  52 — 77  A.D.,  and 
therefore  he  places  the  foundation  of  Ityke  in  the  year 
1126  or  1100  B.C. 

About  the  same  time,  i.  e.  about  the  year  1100  B.C., 
the  Phenicians  had  already  reached  much  further  to 
the  west.  In  his  Phenician  history,  Claudius  lolaus 
tells  'us  that  Archaleus  (Arkal,  Heracles 1),  the  son  of 
Phoenix,  built  Gadeira  (Gades).2  "  From  ancient  times," 
such  is  the  account  of  Diodorus,  "  the  Phenicians 
carried  on  an  uninterrupted  navigation  for  the  sake  of 
trade,  and  planted  many  colonies  in  Africa,  and  not  a 
few  in  Europe,  in  the  regions  lying  to  the  west.  And 
when  their  undertakings  succeeded  according  to  their 
desire  and  they  had  collected  great  treasures,  they 
resolved  to  traverse  the  sea  beyond  the  pillars  of 
Heracles,  which  is  called  Oceanus.  First  of  all,  on 
their  passage  through  these  pillars,  they  founded  upon 
a  peninsula  of  Europe  a  city  which  they  called 
Gadeira,  and  erected  works  suitable  to  the  place,  chiefly 
a  beautiful  temple  to  Heracles,  with  splendid  offerings 
according  to  the  custom  of  the  Phenicians.  And  as 
this  temple  was  honoured  at  that  time,  so  also  in 
later  times  down  to  our  own  days  it  was  held  in  great 
reverence.  When  the  Phenicians,  in  order  to  explore 
the  coasts  beyond  the  pillars,  took  their  course  along 
the  shore  of  Libya,  they  were  carried  away  far  into 
the  Oceanus  by  a  strong  wind,  and  after  being  driven 
many  days  by  the  storm  they  came  to  a  large  island 
opposite  Libya,  where  the  fertility  was  so  great  and 
the  climate  so  beautiful  that  it  seemed  by  the  abund- 
ance of  blessings  found  there  to  be  intended  for  the 

1  Arkal  or  Archal  may  mean  "  fire  of  the  All,"  "  light  of  the  AIL" 
3  Etym.  Magn. 


dwelling  of  the  gods  rather  than  men." *  Strabo  says, 
the  Gaditani  narrated  that  an  oracle  bade  the  Tyrians 
send  a  colony  to  the  pillars  of  Heracles.  When  those 
who  had  been  sent  reached  the  straits  of  Mount  Calpe 
they  were  of  opinion  that  the  promontories  which 
enclosed  the  passage,  Calpe  and  the  opposite  headland 
of  Abilyx  in  Libya,2  were  the  pillars  which  bounded  the 
earth,  and  the  limit  of  the  travels  of  Heracles,  which 
the  oracle  mentioned.  So  they  landed  on  this  side  of 
the  straits,  at  the  spot  where  the  city  of  the  Axitani 
(Sexi)  now  stands ;  but  since  the  sacrifices  were  not 
favourable  there  they  turned  back.  Those  sent  out 
after  them  sailed  through  the  straits,  and  cast  anchor 
at  an  island  sacred  to  Heracles,  1500  stades  beyond 
the  pillars,  opposite  the  city  of  Onoba  in  Iberia ;  but 
as  the  sacrifices  were  again  unfavourable  they  also  again 
turned  home.  Finally,  a  third  fleet  landed  on  a  little 
island  750  stades  beyond  Mount  Calpe,  close  to  the 
mainland,  and  not  far  from  the  mouth  of  the  Bsetis. 
Here,  on  the  east  side  of  the  island,  they  built  a  temple 
to  Heracles  ;  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  island  they 
built  the  city  of  Gadeira,  and  on  the  extreme  western 
point  the  temple  of  Cronos.  In  the  temple  of  Heracles 
there  were  two  fountains  and  "two  pillars  of  brass, 
eight  cubits  in  height,  on  which  is  recorded  the  cost  of 
the  building  of  this  temple." 3  This  foundation  of 
Gades,  which  on  the  coins  is  called  Gadir  and  Agadir, 
i.  e.  wall,  fortification,  the  modern  Cadiz,  and  without 
doubt  the  most  ancient  city  in  Europe  which  has  pre- 
served its  name,  is  said  to  have  taken  place  in  the  year 

1  Diod.  5,  19,  20. 

2  On  the  meaning  given  in  Avienus  ("Ora  marit  ")  of  Abila  as 
"high  mountain,"  and  Calpa  as  "big-bellied  jar,"  cf.  Miillenhoff, 
"Deutsche  Alterthumsk,  1,  83. 

3  Strabo,  pp.   169—172.     Justin  (44,  5)  represents  the  Tyrians  as 
founding  Gades  in  consequence  of  a  dream.      In  regard  to  the  name 
cf.  Avien.  "  Ora  marit,"  267—270. 


1100  B.C.1  If  Ityke  was  founded  before  1100  B.C.  or 
about  that  time,  \ve  have  no  reason  to  doubt  the 
founding  of  Gades  soon  after  that  date.  Hence  the 
ships  of  the  Phenicians  would  have  reached  the  ocean 
about  the  time  when  Tiglath  Pilesar  I.  left  the  Tigris 
with  his  army,  trod  the  north  of  Syria,  and  looked 
on  the  Mediterranean. 

The  marvellous  and  impressive  aspect  of  the  rocky 
gate  which  opens  a  path  for  the  waves  of  the  Mediter- 
ranean to  the  boundless  waters  of  the  Atlantic  Ocean 
might  implant  in  the  Phenician  mariners  who  first 
passed  beyond  it  the  belief  that  they  had  found  in 
these  two  mountains  the  pillars  which  the  god  set  up  to 
mark  the  end  of  the  earth ;  in  the  endless  ocean  beyond 
them  they  could  easily  recognise  the  western  sea  in 
which  their  sun-god  went  to  his  rest.  That  Gades,  on 
the  shore  of  the  sea  into  which  the  sun  went  down, 
was  especially  zealous  in  the  worship  of  Melkarth,  that 
the  descent  of  the  "god  into  the  western  ocean  (the 
supposed  death  of  Heracles 2)  and  the  awakening  of  the 
god  with  the  sun  of  the  spring  were  here  celebrated 
with  especial  emphasis,  is  a  fact  which  requires  no 
explanation.  The  legends  of  the  Hesperides,  the 
daughters  of  the  West,  in  whose  garden  Melkarth 
celebrates  the  holy  marriage  with  Astarte  (I.  371),  of 
the  islands  of  the  blest  in  the  western  sea,  appear  to 

1  Movers,  "  Phceniz."  2,  622.     Strabo  (p.  48)  puts  the  first  settle- 
ments of  the  Phenicians  in  the  midst  of  the  Libyan  coast  and  at 
Gades  just  after  the  Trojan  war,  Velleius  (1,  2,  6,  in  combination 
with  1,  8,  4),  in  the  year  1100  B.C.    Cf.  Movers,  loc.  cit.  S.  148,  note  90. 
The  Greeks  called  both  land  and  river  Tartessus.     The  pillars  of  the 
Tynan  god  "  Archaleus,"  are  with  them  the  pillars  of  their  "Heracles," 
which  he  sets  up  as  marks  of  his  campaigns.     Here,  opposite  the 
mouth  of  the  Tartessus,  they  place  the  island  Erythea,  i.  e.  the  red 
island  on  which  the  giant  Geryon,  i.  e.  "  the  roarer,"  guards  the  red 
oxen  of  the  sun  :  Erythea  is  one  of  the  islands  near  Cadiz ;  Mullenhoff, 
Deutsche  "Alterthumsk:  "  1,  134  ff. 

2  Sail.  "Jugurtha,"c.  19. 


have  a  local  background  in  the  luxuriant  fertility  and 
favoured  climate  of  Madeira  and  the  Canary  islands. 

The  land  off  the  coast  of  which  Gades  lay,  the  valley 
of  the  Guadalquivir,  was  named  by  the  Phenicians 
Tarsis  (Tarshish),  and  by  the  Greeks  Tartessus.  The 
genealogical  table  in  Genesis  places  Tarsis  among  the 
sons  of  Javan.  The  prophet  Ezekiel  represents  the  ships 
of  Tarshish  as  bringing  silver,  iron,  tin  and  lead  to  Tyre. 
"  The  ships  of  Tarshish,"  so  he  says  to  the  city  of  Tyre, 
"  were  thy  caravans  ;  so  wert  thou  replenished  and 
very  glorious  in  the  midst  of  the  sea."  l  The  Sicilian 
Stesichorus  of  Himera  expresses  himself  in  more 
extravagant  terms.  He  sang  of  the  "fountains  of 
Tartessus  (the  Guadalquivir)  rooted  in  silver."  The 
Greeks  represent  the  Tartessus,  the  river  which  brought 
down  gold,  tin,  iron  in  its  waters,  as  springing  from 
the  silver  mountain,2  and  according  to  Herodotus 
the  first  Greek  ship,  a  merchantman  of  Samos,  which 
was  driven  about  the  year  630  B.C.  by  a  storm  from 
the  east  to  Tartessus,  made  a  profit  of  60  talents.3 
Aristotle  tells  us  that  the  first  Phenicians  who  sailed 
to  Tartessus  obtained  so  much  silver  in  exchange  for 
things  of  no  value  that  the  ships  could  not  carry  the 
burden,  so  that  the  Phenicians  left  behind  the  tackle 
and  even  the  anchor  they  had  brought  with  them  and 
made  new  tackle  of  silver.4  Poseidonius  says  that 
among  that  people  it  was  not  Hades,  but  Plutus,  who 
dwelt  in  the  under- world.  Once  the  forests  had  been 
burned,  and  the  silver  and  gold,  melted  by  an  enormous 
fire,  flowed  out  on  the  surface;  every  hill  and  mountain 
became  a  heap  of  gold  and  silver.  On  the  north-west 
of  this  land  the  ground  shone  with  silver,  tin  and 

1  Ezek.  xxvii.  12,  25. 

2  In  Strabo,  p.  148 ;  MiiUenhofl,  loc.  cit.  1,  81. 

3  Herod.  4,  152.  4  "De  rnirab.  ausc."  c.  147. 


white  gold  mixed  with  silver.  This  soil  the  rivers 
washed  down  with  them.  The  women  drew  water  from 
the  river  and  poured  it  through  sieves,  so  that  nothing 
Imt  gold,  silver  and  tin  remained  in  the  sieve.1 
Diodorus  tells  the  same  story  of  the  ancient  burning  of 
the  forests  on  the  Pyrenees  (from  which  fire  they  got 
their  name),  by  which  the  silver  ore  was  rendered 
fluid  and  oozed  from  the  mountains,  so  that  many 
streams  were  formed  of  pure  silver.  To  the  native 
inhabitants  the  value  of  silver  was  so  little  known 
that  the  Phenicians  obtained  it  in  exchange  for  small 
presents,  and  gained  great  treasures  by  carrying  the 
silver  to  Asia  and  all  other  nations.  The  greed  of 
the  merchants  went  so  far  that  when  the  ships  were 
laden,  and  there  was  still  a  large  quantity  of  silver 
remaining,  they  took  off  the  lead  from  the  anchors 
and  replaced  it  with  silver.  Strabo  assures  us  that 
the  land  through  which  the  Baetis  flows  was  not 
surpassed  in  fertility  and  all  the  blessings  of  earth 
and  sea  by  any  region  in  the  world  ;  neither  gold  nor 
silver,  copper  nor  iron,  was  found  anywhere  else  in 
such  abundance  and  excellence.  The  gold  was  not 
only  dug  up,  but  also  obtained  by  washing,  as  the 
rivers  and  streams  brought  down  sands  of  gold.  In 
the  sands  of  gold  pieces  were  occasionally  found  half-a- 
pound  in  weight,  and  requiring  very  little  purification. 
Stone  salt  was  also  found  there,  and  there  was  abund- 
ance of  house  cattle  and  sheep,  which  produced  excellent 
wool,  of  corn  and  wine.  The  coast  of  the  shore  beyond 
the  pillars  was  covered  with  shell-fish  and  large  purple- 
fish,  and  the  sea  was  rich  in  fish  (the  tunnies  and  the 
Tartessian  murena  so  much  sought  after  in  antiquity),2 
which  the  ebb  and  flow  of  the  tide  brought  up  to 
the  beach.  Corn,  wine,  the  best  oil,  wax,  honey, 

1  In  Strabo,  p.  148.  2  Aristoph.  «  Eanae,"  475. 


pitch  and  cinnabar  were  exported  from  this  fortunate 

If  the  Phenicians  were  able  in  the  thirteenth  century 
to  settle  upon  Cyprus  and  Khodes,  the  islands  of  the 
^Egean    and   the    coasts  of   Hellas,  their   population 
must  have  been  numerous,  their  industry  active,  their 
trade  lucrative.      That   subsequently  in   the   twelfth 
century  they  also  took  into  possession  the  coasts  of 
Sicily,  Sardinia  and  North  Africa  by  means  of  their 
colonies  is  a  proof  that  the  request  for  the  raw  products 
and  metals  of  the  West  was  very  lively  and  increasing 
in  Syria  and  in  Egypt,   in  Assyria  and   Babylonia. 
The  market  of  these  lands  must  have  been  very  remu- 
nerative to  the  Phenicians  in  order  to  induce  them 
to  make  their  discoveries,  their  distant  voyages   and 
remote  settlements.     If  the  Phenicians  about  the  year 
1100  B.C.  were  in  a  position  to  discover  the  straits  of 
Gibraltar,  the   fact  shows   us  that   they  must   have 
practised  navigation  for  a  long  time.     The  horizon  of 
the  Greek  mariner  ended  even  in  the  ninth  century 
in  the  waters  of  Sicily,  and  in  the  fifth  century  B.C. 
the  voyage  of  a  Greek  ship  from  the   Syrian  coast 
to  the  pillars  of  Heracles  occupied  80  days.2     After 
the  founding  of  Gades  the  Phenicians  ruled  over  the 
whole  length  of  the  Mediterranean  by  their  harbour 
fortresses  and  factories.     Their  ships  crossed  the  long 
basin  in  every  direction,  and  everywhere  they  found 
harbours  of  safety.     They  showed  themselves  no  less 
apt  and  inventive  in  the  arts  of  navigation  than  the 
Babylonians  had  shown  themselves  in  technical  inven- 
tions and   astronomy ;    they  were  bolder  and   more 
enterprising   than   the    Assyrians   in   the   campaigns 
which  the   latter  attempted  at   the   time  when   the 

1  Diod.  5,  35  ;  Strabo,  p.  144  seqq. 

2  Scylax,  "Peripl."  c.  111. 


Phenicians  were  building  Gades ;  they  were  more 
venturesome  and  enduring  on  the  water  than  their 
tribesmen  the  Arabians  on  the  sandy  sea  of  the  desert. 
In  the  possession  of  the  ancient  civilisation  of  the  East 
their  mariners  and  merchants  presented  the  same  con- 
trast to  the  Thracians  and  Hellenes,  the  Sicels,  the 
Libyans  and  Iberians  which  the  Portuguese  and  the 
Spaniards  presented  2500  years  later  to  the  tribes  of 



Not  far  removed  from  the  harbour-cities,  whose  ships 
discovered  the  land  of  silver,  which  carried  the  natural 
wealth  of  the  West  to  the  lands  of  the  Euphrates  and 
Tigris,  and  the  Nile,  in  order  to  exchange  them  for  the 
productions  of  those  countries,  in  part  immediately  upon 
the  borders  of  the  marts  which  united  the  East  and  the 
West,  and  side  by  side  with  them,  dwelt  the  Israelites 
on  the  heights  and  in  the  valleys  which  they  had 
conquered,  in  very  simple  and  original  modes  of  life. 

Even  during  the  war  against  the  ancient  population 
of  Canaan,  immediately  after  the  first  successes  against 
the  Amorites,  they  had,  as  we  have  seen,  dropped 
any  common  participation  in  the  struggle,  any  unity 
under  one  leader.  According  to  their  numbers  and 
bravery,  and  the  resistance  encountered,  the  various 
tribes  had  won  larger  or  smaller  territories,  better 
or  inferior  districts.  Immigration  and  conquest  did 
not  lead  among  the  Israelites  to  a  combination  of  their 
powers  under  the  supremacy  of  one  leader,  but  rather 
to  separation  into  clans  and  cantons,  which  was  also 
favoured  by  the  nature  of  the  country  conquered,  a 
district  lying  in  unconnected  parts,  and  possessing  no 
central  region  adapted  for  governing  the  whole.  Thus, 
after  the  settlement,  the  life  of  the  nation  became 

90  ISRAEL. 

divided  into  separate  circles  according  to  the  position 
and  character  of  the  mountain  canton  which  the 
particular  tribe  had  obtained,  and  the  fortune  which  it 
had  experienced.  Even  if  there  was  an  invasion  of 
the  enemy,  the  tribe  attacked  was  left  to  defend 
itself  as  well  as  it  could.  It  was  only  very  rarely, 
and  in  times  of  great  danger,  that  the  nobles  and 
elders  of  the  whole  land,  and  a  great  number  of  the 
men  of  war  from  all  the  tribes,  were  collected  round 
the  sacred  ark  at  Shiloh,  at  Bethel,  at  Mizpeh,  or 
at  Gilgal  for  common  counsel  or  common  defence. 
But  even  when  a  resolution  was  passed  by  the  nobles 
and  elders  and  the  people,  individual  tribes  some- 
times resisted,  even  by  force  of  arms,  the  expressed 
will  of  the  nation,  or  at  least  of  a  great  part  of  the 
nobles  and  people,  and  the  division  of  the  tribes 
sometimes  led  even  to  open  war. 

Within  the  tribes  also  there  was  no  fixed  arrangement, 
no  fixed  means  for  preserving  peace.  The  clans  and 
families  for  the  most  part  possessed  separate  valleys, 
glens,  or  heights.  The  heads  of  the  oldest  families 
were  also  the  governors  of  these  cantons,  and  composed 
the  differences  between  the  members  of  the  clan,  canton, 
or  city  by  their  decisions ;  while  in  other  places  bold 
and  successful  warriors  at  the  head  of  voluntary  bands 
made  acquisitions,  in  which  the  descendants  of  the 
leader  took  the  rank  of  elder  and  judge.  Eminent 
houses  of  this  kind,  together  with  the  heads  of  families 
of  ancient  descent,  formed  the  order  of  nobles  and 
elders ;  "  who  hold  the  judge's  staff  in  their  hands, 
and  ride  on  spotted  asses  with  beautiful  saddles,  while 
the  common  people  go  afoot." l  If  a  tribe  fell  into 
distress  and  danger,  the  nobles  and  elders  assembled 
and  took  counsel,  while  the  people  stood  round,  unless 

1  Judges  v.  10,  14  ;  x.  4. 


some  man  of  distinction  had  already  risen  and  sum- 
moned the  tribe  to  follow  him.  For  the  people  did 
not  adhere  exclusively  to  the  chief  of  the  oldest  family 
in  the  canton ;  nobles  and  others  within,  and  in  special 
cases  without,  the  tribe,  who  had  obtained  a  prominent 
position  by  warlike  actions,  or  by  the  wisdom  of  their 
decisions,  whose  position  and  power  promised  help, 
protection  and  the  accomplishment  of  the  sentence, 
were  invited  to  remove  strife  and  differences,  unless 
the  contending  persons  preferred  to  help  themselves. 
Only  the  man  who  could  not  help  himself  sought,  as  a 
rule,  the  decision  of  the  elder  or  judge. 

The  names  of  some  of  the  men  whose  decision  was 
sought  in  that  time  have  been  preserved  in  the  tradi- 
tion of  the  Israelites.  Tholah  of  the  tribe  of  Issachar, 
Jair  of  the  land  of  Gilead,  Ebzan  of  Bethlehem  in  the 
tribe  of  Judah,  Elon  of  the  tribe  of  Zebulun,  and  Abdon 
of  Ephraim,  are  all  mentioned  as  judges  of  note.  Of 
Jair  we  are  told  that  he  had  30  sons,  who  rode  on  30 
asses,  and  possessed  30  villages.  Ebzan  is  also  said  to 
have  had  30  sons  and  to  have  married  30  daughters ; 
while  Abdon  had  40  sons  and  30  grandsons,  who  rode 
on  70  asses.1 

On  the  heights  and  table-lands  of  the  districts  east 
of  the  Jordan,  in  the  land  of  Gilead,  were  settled  the 
tribes  of  Reuben  and  Gad  and  a  part  of  the  tribe  of 
Manasseh.  At  an  early  period  they  grew  together,  so 
that  the  name  of  the  region  sometimes  represents  the 
names  of  these  tribes.  Here  the  pastoral  life  and  breed- 
ing of  cattle  remained  predominant,  as  in  the  less  pro- 
ductive districts  on  the  west  of  the  Jordan.  But  on 
the  plains  and  in  the  valleys  of  the  west  the  greater 
part  of  the  settlers  devoted  themselves  to  the  culture 
of  the  vine  and  agriculture.  The  walls  of  the  ancient 

1  Judges  x.  1 — 5  ;  xii.  8 — 15. 

92  ISRAEL. 

cities  were  at  first  used  as  a  protection  against  the 
attacks  of  robbers,  or  raids  of  enemies;  the  inhabit- 
ants, afterwards  as  before,  planted  their  fields  and 
vineyards  outside  the  gates.1  But  the  custom  of 
dwelling  together  led  to  the  beginnings  of  civic  life, 
industrial  skill,  and  common  order.  The  trade  of  the 
Phenicians,  which  touched  the  land  of  the  Hebrews 
here  and  there,  and  the  more  advanced  culture  of  the 
cities  of  the  coast,  could  not  remain  without  influence 
on  the  Hebrews. 

The  religious  feeling  which  separated  the  Israelites 
from  the  Canaanites  was  not  more  thoroughly  effective 
than  the  community  of  blood  and  the  contrast  to  the 
ancient  population  of  the  land  in  bringing  about  the 
combination  and  union  of  the  Israelites.  The  religious 
life  was  as  much  without  organisation  as  the  civic ; 
on  the  contrary,  as  the  Israelites  spread  as  settlers  over 
a  larger  district,  the  unity  and  connection  of  religious 
worship  which  Moses  previously  established  again  fell 
to  the  ground.  It  is  true,  the  sacred  ark  remained  at 
Shiloh,  five  leagues  to  the  north  of  Bethel,  under  the 
sacred  tent  in  the  land  of  the  tribe  of  Ephraim.  At 
this  place  a  festival  was  held  yearly  in  honour  of 
Jehovah,  to  which  the  Israelites  assembled  to  offer 
prayer  and  sacrifice.  On  other  occasions  also  people 
went  to  Shiloh  to  offer  sacrifice.2  The  priestly  office 
in  the  sacred  tent  at  the  sacred  ark  remained  with  the 
descendants  of  Aaron,  in  the  family  of  Phinehas,  the 
son  of  Eleazar,  the  eldest  son  of  Aaron  (I.  497). 
But  with  the  settlement  a  number  of  other  places  of 
sacrifice  had  risen  up  beside  the  sanctuary  at  Shiloh. 
On  the  heights  and  under  the  oaks  at  Raman  in  the 
land  of  Benjamin,  at  Mizpeh  in  the  same  district,  as 
well  as  at  Mizpeh  beyond  Jordan,  where  Jacob  and 

1  e.  g.  Judges  ix.  27.  2  Judges  xxi.  19;  1  Sam.  i.  3  ;  ii.  13. 


Laban  had  parted  in  peace,1  at  Bethel  on  the  borders 
of  the  land  of  Ephraim.  and  Benjamin,  where  Abraham, 
sacrificed  (between  Bethel  and  Ai)  and  Jacob  received 
the  name  of  Israel ; 2  finally  at  Grilgal  on  the  east  of 
Jordan,  where  Joshua  lay  encamped,  and  kept  the  pass- 
over,  before  he  attacked  Jericho,  Jehovah  was  invoked. 
At  these  places  also  the  firstlings  of  the  fruits  were 
offered ;  goats,  rams,  and  bulls  were  offered,  with  or 
without  the  intervention  of  the  priest,  and  inquiry 
made  for  the  will  of  Jehovah  without  priestly  help  or 
intervention.  Any  one  who  set  up  an  altar  estab- 
lished a  priest  there,  or  hired  a  priest.  For  this  pur- 
pose men  were  chosen  who  claimed  to  be  of  the  race  of 
Moses  and  Aaron,  just  as  the  service  of  the  sacred  ark 
at  Shiloh  was  in  the  hands  of  this  family ;  but  men  of 
other  origin  and  tribes  were  not  excluded  even  from  the 
priesthood  at  the  ark.3 

In  such  a  want  of  any  defined  and  influential 
position  of  the  priesthood,  in  the  want  of  any  church 
organisation,  it  was  only  the  superior  personal  power  of 
the  priests  at  Shiloh  which  could  protect  the  religious 
feeling  and  traditional  custom  against  the  influences 
of  the  new  surroundings,  and  Canaanitish  rites.  Tra- 
dition, at  any  rate  from  the  first  third  of  the  eleventh 
century  B.C.,  had  no  good  to  tell  of  the  morals  of  the 
priests  at  Shiloh.  To  those  who  came  to  bring  an 
offering  the  servant  of  the  priest  said,  "  Give  flesh  to 
roast  for  the  priest ;  he  will  not  have  it  sodden  but 
raw."  If  the  person  sacrificing  replied,  "  We  will  burn 
only  the  fat,  then  take  what  you  desire,"  the  servant 
answered,  "  You  must  give  it  me  now,  and  if  you  will 
not  I  shall  take  it  by  force."  If  the  priest  desired 
cooked  flesh  from  the  sacrifice,  he  sent  his  servant,  who 

1  Judges  xx.  1 ;  vol.  i.  410.  2  1  Sam.  x.  3  ;  vol.  i.  390,  411. 

3  Judges  xvii.  5,  10 ;  xviii.  30  ;  1  Sam.  vii.  1 ;  2,  vi.  3. 

94  ISRAEL. 

struck  with  his  three-pronged  fork  into  the  cauldron, 
and  what  he  brought  out  was  the  priest's. 

The  religious  views  of  the  Israelites,  not  sufficiently 
represented  among  themselves,  were  the  more  exposed 
to  the  influence  of  the  rites  of  the  Canaanites,  as  these 
rites  belonged  to  tribes  of  kindred  nature  and  character. 
In  this  way  it  came  about  that  the  Canaanitish  gods 
Baal  and  Astarte  were  worshipped  beside  Jehovah,  the 
god  of  Israel,  and  that  in  one  or  two  places  the  old 
worship  was  perhaps  entirely  driven  out  by  these  new 
gods.  But  even  where  this  did  not  take  place,  it 
was  owing  to  the  example  and  impulse  of  the  Syrian 
modes  of  worship  that  images  were  here  and  there 
set  up  on  the  altars  of  Jehovah.  When  the  conception 
of  the  divine  nature  in  the  spirit  of  a  nation  passes 
beyond  the  first  undefined  feeling  and  intimation, — 
when  it  receives  a  plainer  and  more  expressive  shape 
in  the  minds  of  men,  and  the  first  steps  of  artistic  and 
technical  skill,  or  the  example  of  neighbours,  are  coin- 
cident with  this  advance, — the  general  result  is  that 
men  desire  to  see  the  ruling  powers  fixed  in  distinct 
forms,  then  the  gods  are  presented  in  a  realistic  manner 
in  visible  forms  and  images.  And  thus  it  was  among 
the  Israelites.  The  command  of  Moses  given  in  oppo- 
sition to  the  images  of  Egypt  (I.  354)  was  long  since 
forgotten.  Michah,  a  man  of  the  tribe  of  Ephraim, 
caused  a  goldsmith  to  make  a  carved  and  molten  image 
of  Jehovah  of  200  shekels  of  silver ;  and  set  it  up  in  a 
temple  on  Mount  Ephraim,  establishing  as  a  priest  a 
Levite,  the  "  descendant  of  Moses."  When  a  part  of 
Dan  marched  northwards  in  order  to  win  for  them- 
selves abodes  there,  which  they  could  not  conquer  from 
the  Philistines,  the  men  of  Dan  carried  off  this  image 
along  with  the  Levite  and  set  it  up  in  the  city  of  Laish 
(Dan),  which  they  took  from  the  Sidonians  (I.  371), 


and  the  "grandson  of  Moses"  and  his  descendants  con- 
tinued to  be  priests  before  this  image.1  At  Nob  also  there 
was  a  gilded  image  of  Jehovah,  and  many  had  Teraphim, 
or  images  of  gods  in  the  form  of  men,  in  their  houses.2 

Nothing  important  was  undertaken  before  inquiry 
was  made  of  the  will  of  Jehovah.  The  inquiry  was 
made  as  a  rule  by  casting  lots  before  the  sacred 
tabernacle  at  Shiloh,  before  the  altars  and  images  of 
Jehovah,3  or  by  questioning  the  priests  and  sooth- 
sayers. Counsel  was  also  taken  of  these  if  a  cow  had 
gone  astray,  and  they  received  in  return  bread  or  a 
piece  of  money. 

Of  the  feuds  which  the  tribes  of  Israel  carried  on 
at  this  time,  some  have  remained  in  remembrance.4 
The  concubine  of  a  Levite,  so  we  are  told  in  the 
book  of  Judges,  who  dwelt  on  Mount  Ephraim,  ran 
away  from  her  husband ;  she  went  back  to  her  father, 
to  Bethlehem  in  Judah.  Her  husband  rose  and 
followed  her,  pacified  her,  and  then  set  out  on  his 
return.  The  first  evening  they  reached  the  city  of  the 
Jebusites,  but  the  Levite  would  not  pass  the  night 
among  the  Canaanites  (I.  500),  and  turned  aside  to 
Gibeah,  a  place  in  the  tribe  of  Benjamin.  Here  no 
one  received  the  travellers ;  they  were  compelled  to 
remain  in  the  street  till  an  old  man  came  home  late  in 
the  evening  from  his  work  in  the  field.  When  he 
heard  that  the  traveller  was  from  Ephraim  he  received 
him  into  his  house,  for  he  was  himself  an  Ephraimite, 
gave  fodder  to  the  asses  of  the  Levite  and  his  concubine, 

1  Judges  xvii.  ff. 

2  1  Sam.  xix.  13 — 16;  xxi.  9;  Gen.  xxxi.  34;  Judges  xyii.  5;  xviii. 
14,  17  ;  2  Kings  xxiii.  24. 

3  e.  g.  Judges  vi.  36 — 40 ;  xviii.  5 ;  xx.  18  ff.      The  priests  wore  a 
pocket  with  lots  (apparently  small  stones)  on  the  breast.     The  Urim 
and  Thummim  of  the  High  Priest  was  originally  nothing  but  these 

4  On  the  composition  of  the  Book  of  Judges,  cf.  De  Wette-Schrader, 
"  Einleitung,"  325  ff. 

96  ISRAEL. 

and  placed  his  attendant  with  his  own  servants. 
Then  they  washed  their  feet,  and  drank,  and  their 
hearts  were  merry.  But  the  men  of  Gibeah  collected 
round  the  house  in  the  evening,  pressed  on  the  door, 
and  demanded  that  the  stranger  from  Ephraim  should 
be  given  up  to  them  ;  they  wished  to  destroy  him.  In 
order  to  save  himself  the  priest  gave  up  to  them  his 
concubine,  that  they  might  satisfy  their  passions  on 
her.  The  men  of  Gibeah  abused  her  the  whole  night 
through,  so  that  next  morning  she  lay  dead  upon  the 
threshold.  The  Levite  went  with  the  corpse  to  his 
home  at  Ephraim,  cut  it  into  twelve  pieces  with  a 
knife,  and  sent  a  piece  to  each  tribe.  Every  one 
who  saw  it  said,  "  The  like  was  never  heard  since 
Israel  came  out  of  Egypt."  And  the  chiefs  of  the 
nation  assembled  and  pronounced  a  curse  upon  him 
who  did  not  come  to  Mizpah  (in  the  land  of  Benjamin) 
that  he  should  be  put  to  death.  Then  all  the  tribes 
assembled  at  Mizpah,  it  is  said  about  400,000  men ; x 
only  from  Jabesh  in  Gilead  and  the  tribe  of  Benjamin 
no  one  came.  The  Levite  told  what  had  happened  to 
him,  and  the  tribes  sent  messengers  to  Benjamin,  to 
bring  the  men  of  Gibeah.  But  the  children  of  Benjamin 
refused,  and  assembled  their  men  of  war,  more  than 
26,000  in  number,  and  took  up  arms.  Then  the 
people  rose  up  and  said,  "  Cursed  be  he  who  gives  a 
wife  to  Benjamin." '  Every  tenth  man  was  sent  back 
for  supplies ;  the  rest  marched  out  against  Benjamin. 
But  "  Benjamin  was  a  ravening  wolf,  who  ate  up  the 
spoil  at  morning  and  divided  the  booty  in  the  even- 
ing ; "  they  were  mighty  archers,  and  could  throw  with 
the  left  hand  as  well  as  the  right.3  They  fought  twice 

1  In  David's  time  only  270,000  are  given :  below,  chap.  7. 

2  Judges  xx.  8 ;  xxi.  7 — 18. 

3  Gen.  xlix.   27;    Judges  xx.   16;    1  Chron.  viii.   39 ;  xii.   2;    2 
Chron.  xiv.  7. 


at  G-ibeah  with  success  against  their  countrymen.  Not 
till  the  third  contest  did  the  Israelites  gain  the  victory, 
and  then  only  by  an  ambuscade  and  counterfeit  flight. 
After  this  overthrow  the  whole  tribe  is  said  to  have 
been  massacred,  the  flocks  and  herds  destroyed,  and 
the  cities  burnt.  Only  600  men,  as  we  are  told, 
escaped  to  the  rock  Bimmon  on  the  Dead  Sea. 
When  the  community  again  assembled  at  Bethel  the 
people  were  troubled  that  a  tribe  should  be  extirpated 
and  wanting  in  Israel ;  so  they  caused  peace  and  a 
safe  return  to  be  proclaimed  to  the  remainder  of  Ben- 
jamin. And  when  12,000  men  were  sent  out  against 
Jabesh  to  punish  the  city  because  none  of  their  in- 
habitants came  to  the  gathering  at  Mizpeh,  they  were 
ordered  to  spare  the  maidens  of  Jabesh.  In  obedience 
to  this  command  they  brought  400  maidens  back  from 
Jabesh,  and  these  were  given  to  the  Benjamites.  But 
as  this  number  was  insufficient  the  Benjamites  were 
allowed,  when  the  yearly  festival  was  held  at  Shiloh 
(p.  92),  and  the  daughters  of  Shiloh  came  out  to  dance 
before  the  city,  to  rush  out  from  the  vineyards  and  carry 
off  wives  for  themselves.  Thus  does  tradition  explain 
the  non-execution  of  the  decree  that  no  Israelite  should 
give  his  daughter  to  wife  to  a  man  of  Benjamin,  and  the 
rescue  of  the  tribe  of  Benjamin  from  destruction.1 

Without  unity  and  connection  in  their  political  and 
religious  life,  amid  the  quarrels  and  feuds  of  the  tribes, 
families  and  individuals,  when  every  one  helped  and 
avenged  himself,  and  violence  and  cruelty  abounded, 
— in  the  lawless  condition  when  "  every  one  in  Israel 
did  what  was  right  in  his  own  eyes," — the  Israelites 

1  These  events  belong,  according  to  Judges  xx.  27  ff.,  to  the  period 
immediately  after  the  conquest :  as  a  fact,  the  war  against  Benjamin 
is  not  to  be  placed  long  after  this,  i.  e.  about  1200  B.C.  Cf.  De  Wette- 
Schrader,  "  Einleitung,"  S.  326. 

VOL.  II.  H 

98  ISRAEL. 

were  in  danger  of  becoming  the  prey  of  every  external 
foe,  and  it  was  a  question  whether  they  could  long 
maintain  the  land  they  had  won.  It  was  fortunate 
that  there  was  no  united  monarchy  at  the  head  either 
of  the  Philistines  or  the  Phenicians,  that  the  latter 
were  intent  on  other  matters,  as  their  colonies  in 
the  Mediterranean,  while  the  cities  of  the  Philistines, 
though  they  acquired  a  closer  combination  as  early  as 
the  eleventh  century  B.C.,  or  even  earlier  (I.  348),  did 
not,  at  least  at  first,  go  out  to  make  foreign  conquests. 
But  it  was  unavoidable  that  the  old  population,  especi- 
ally in  the  north,  where  they  remained  in  the  greatest 
numbers  amongst  the  Israelites,  should  again  rise  and 
find  strong  points  of  support  in  the  Canaanite  princes 
of  Hazor  and  Damascus ;  that  the  Moabites  who  lay  to 
the  east  of  the  Dead  Sea,  the  Ammonites,  the  neighbours 
of  the  land  of  Gilead,  that  the  wandering  tribes  of  the 
Syrian  desert  should  feel  themselves  tempted  to  invade 
Israel,  to  carry  off  the  flocks  and  plunder  the  harvests 
and,  if  they  found  no  vigorous  resistance,  to  take  up  a 
permanent  settlement  in  the  country.  Without  the 
protection  of  natural  borders,  without  combination 
and  guidance,  as  they  were,  the  Israelites  could  only 
succeed  in  resisting  such  attacks  when  in  the  time  of 
danger  a  skilful  and  brave  warrior  was  found,  who 
was  able  to  rouse  his  own  tribe,  and  perhaps  one  or 
two  of  the  neighbouring  tribes,  to  a  vigorous  resistance, 
or  to  liberation  if  the  enemy  was  already  in  the  land. 
It  is  the  deeds  of  such  heroes,  and  almost  these  alone, 
which  remained  in  the  memory  of  the  Israelites  from 
the  first  two  centuries  following  their  settlement ;  and 
these  narratives,  in  part  fabulous,  must  represent  the 
history  of  Israel  for  this  period. 

Eglon,  king  of  Moab,  defeated  the  Israelites,  passed 
over  the  Jordan,   took  Jericho,  and  here  established 


himself.  With  Gilead  the  tribe  of  Benjamin,  which 
dwelt  nearest  to  Jericho,  at  first  must  have  felt  with 
especial  weight  the  oppression  of  Moab.  For  18  years 
the  Israelites  are  said  to  have  served  Eglon.  Then 
Ehud,  of  the  tribe  of  Benjamin,  a  reputed  great  grand- 
son of  the  youngest  son  of  Jacob,  the  father  of  the  Ben- 
jamites,  came  with  others  to  Jericho  to  bring  tribute. 
When  the  tax  had  been  delivered  Ehud  desired  to 
speak  privately  with  the  king.  Permission  was  given, 
and  Ehud  went  with  a  two-edged  sword  in  his  hand, 
under  his  garment,  to  the  king,  who  sat  alone  in  the 
cool  upper  chamber.  Ehud  spoke :  "I  have  a  mes- 
sage from  God  to  thee ; "  and  when  Eglon  rose  to 
receive  the  message  Ehud  smote  him  with  the  sword 
in  the  belly,  "so  that  even  the  haft  went  in,  and 
the  fat  closed  over  the  blade,  for  the  king  of  Moab 
was  a  very  fat  man.  But  Ehud  went  down  to  the 
court,  and  closed  the  door  behind  him."  When  the 
servants  found  the  door  closed  they  thought  that  the 
king  had  covered  his  feet  for  sleep.  At  last  they 
took  the  key  and  found  the  king  dead  on  the  floor. 
But  Ehud  blew  the  trumpet  on  Mount  Ephraim, 
assembled  a  host,  seized  the  fords  of  Jordan,  and 
slew  about  10,000  Moabites,  and  the  Moabites  retired 
into  their  old  possessions.1 

Another  narrative  tells  of  the  fortunes  of  the  tribes 
of  Naphtali,  Zebulun,  and  Issachar,  which  were  settled 
in  the  north,  under  Mount  Hermon.  Jabin,  king  of 
Hazor,  had  chariots  of  iron,  and  Sisera  his  captain 
was  a  mighty  warrior,  and  for  20  years  they  oppressed 
the  Israelites.2  Deborah,  the  wife  of  Lapidoth,  of  the 
tribe  of  Issachar,  dwelt  in  the  land  of  Benjamin, 
between  Bethel  and  Ramah,  under  the  palm-tree  ;  she 
could  announce  the  will  of  Jehovah,  and  the  people 

1  Judges  iii.  12  ff.  2  Judges  iv.,  v. 


100  ISRAEL. 

came  to  her  to  obtain  counsel  and  judgment.  At  her 
command  Barak,  the  son  of  Abinoam,  assembled  the 
men  of  the  tribes  of  Zebulun  and  Naphtali ;  assistance 
also  came  from  Issachar,  Manasseh,  Ephraim  and 
Benjamin.  Sisera  went  forth  with  900  chariots  and  a 
great  host  and  the  Israelites  retired  before  him  to  the 
south  of  the  brook  Kishon.  Sisera  crossed  the  brook 
and  came  upon  the  Israelites  in  the  valley  of  Megiddo  ; 
he  was  defeated,  leapt  from  his  chariot,  and  fled  on 
foot  and  came  unto  the  tent  of  Heber  the  Kenite. 
Jael,  Heber's  wife,  met  him  and  said,  "  Turn  in,  my 
lord,  to  me ;  fear  not."  When  in  his  thirst  he  asked 
for  water,  she  opened  the  bottle  of  milk  and  allowed 
him  to  drink,  and  when  he  lay  down  to  rest  she 
covered  him  with  the  carpet.  Being  wearied,  he  sank 
into  a  deep  sleep.  Then  Jael  softly  took  the  nail  of  the 
tent  and  a  hammer  in  her  hand,  and  smote  the  nail 
through  his  temples  so  that  it  passed  into  the  earth. 
When  Barak,  who  pursued  the  fugitive,  came,  Jael 
said,  "  I  will  show  thee  the  man  whom  thou  seekest," 
and  led  him  into  the  tent  where  Sisera  lay  dead  on  the 

Israel's  song  of  victory  is  as  follows :  "  Listen,  ye 
kings  ;  give  ear,  ye  princes  ;  I  will  sing  to  Jehovah, 
I  will  play  on  the  harp  of  Jehovah,  the  king  of  Israel. 
There  were  no  princes  in  Israel  till  I,  Deborah,  arose 
a  mother  in  Israel.  Arise,  Barak  ;  bring  forth  thy 
captives,  thou  son  of  Abinoam.  Shout,  ye  that  ride 
on  she-asses,  and  ye  that  sit  upon  carpets,  and  ye 
that  go  on  foot,  and  let  the  people  come  down  into 
the  plain,  to  the  gates  of  the  cities.  Then  I  said, 
Go  down,  0  people  of  Jehovah,  against  the  strong ;  a 
small  people  against  the  mighty.  From  Ephraim  they 
came  and  from  Benjamin,  from  Machir  (i.  e.  from  the 
Manassites  on  the  east  of  the  lake  of  Gennesareth)  the 


rulers  came,  and  the  chiefs  of  Issachar  were  with 
Deborah,  and  Zebulun  is  a  people  which  perilled  his 
life  to  the  death,  and  Naphtali  on  the  heights  of  the 
field.  On  the  streams  of  Keuben  there  was  taking  of 


counsel,  but  why  didst  thou  sit  still  among  the  herds 
to  hear  the  pipe  of  the  herdsmen  ?  Gilead  also 
remained  beyond  Jordan,  and  Asher  abode  on  the 
shore  of  the  sea  in  his  valleys,  and  Dan  on  his  heights. 
The  kings  came,  they  fought  at  the  water  of  Megiddo  ; 
they  gained  no  booty  of  silver.  Issachar,  the  support 
of  Barak,  threw  himself  in  the  valley  at  his  heels.  The 
brook  Kishon  washed  away  the  enemy :  a  brook  of 
battles  is  the  brook  Kishon.  Go  forth,  my  soul, 
upon  the  strong.  Blessed  above  women  shall  Jael 
be,  above  women  in  the  tent.  He  asked  for  water, 
she  gave  him  milk  ;  she  brought  him  cream  in  a 
lordly  dish.  She  put  forth  her  hand  to  the  nail,  and 
her  right  hand  to  the  workman's  hammer,  and  she 
smote  Sisera,  she  shattered  and  pierced  his  temples. 
Between  her  feet  he  lay  shattered.  The  mother  of 
Sisera  looked  from  her  window  ;  she  called  through  the 
lattice :  'Why  linger  his  chariots  in  returning  ?  why 
delay  the  wheels  of  his  chariot  ? '  Her  wise  maidens 
answered  her ;  nay,  she  answered  herself  :  '  Will  they 
not  find  spoil  and  divide  it ;  one  or  two  maidens  to 
each,  spoil  of  broidered  robes  for  Sisera  ? '  So  must 
all  thine  enemies  perish,  O  Jehovah,  but  may  those 
who  love  him  be  as  the  sun  going  forth  in  his  strength." 
Whether  this  song  was  composed  by  Deborah,  or  by 
some  other  person  in  her  name,  it  is  certainly  an 
ancient  song  of  victory  and  contemporary  with  the 
events  it  celebrates. 

The  tribes  of  Israel  also  which  were  settled  in  the 
land  of  Gilead  remembered  with  gratitude  a  mighty 
warrior  who  had  once  delivered  them  from  grievous 

102  ISRAEL. 

oppression.  The  Ammonites,  the  eastern  neighbours 
of  the  land  of  Gilead,  oppressed  "the  sons  of  Israel 
who  dwelt  beyond  Jordan"  for  18  years,  and  marched 
over  Jordan  against  Judah,  Benjamin  and  the  house 
of  Ephraim.  Then  the  elders  of  the  land  of  Gilead 
bethought  them  of  Jephthah  (Jephthah  means  "  freed 
from  the  yoke  "),  to  whom  they  had  formerly  refused 
the  inheritance  of  his  father  because  he  was  not  the 
son  of  the  lawful  wife,  but  of  a  courtezan.  He  had 
retired  into  the  gorges  of  the  mountain  and  col- 
lected round  him  a  band  of  robbers,  and  done  deeds 
of  bravery.  To  him  the  elders  went;  he  was  to  be 
their  leader  in  fighting  against  the  sons  of  Ammon. 
Jephthah  said,  "  Have  ye  not  driven  me  out  of  the 
house  of  my  father  ?  now  that  ye  are  in  distress  ye 
come  to  me."  Still  he  followed  their  invitation,  and 
the  people  of  Gilead  gathered  round  him  at  Mizpeh 
and  made  him  their  chief  and  leader.  "  If  I  return 
in  triumph  from  the  sons  of  Ammon,"  such  was  Jeph- 
thah's  vow,  "  the  first  that  meets  me  at  the  door  of 
my  house  shall  be  dedicated  to  Jehovah,  and  I  will 
sacrifice  it  as  a  burnt-offering."  When  he  had  asked 
the  tribe  of  Ephraim  for  assistance  in  vain  he  set  out 
against  the  Ammonites  with  the  warriors  of  the  tribes  of 
Reuben,  Gad  and  Manasseh,  and  overcame  them  in  a 
great  battle  on  the  river  Arnon.  The  Ephraimites 
made  it  a  reproach  against  Jephthah  that  he  had 
fought  against  the  Ammonites  without  them ;  they 
crossed  the  Jordan  in  arms.  But  Jephthah  said,  "I 
was  in  straits,  and  my  people  with  me ;  I  called  to 
you,  but  ye  aided  me  not."  He  assembled  the  men  of 
Gilead,  defeated  the  Ephraimites,  and  came  to  the 
fords  of  the  Jordan  before  the  fugitives,  so  that  more 
than  42,000  men  of  Ephraim  are  said  to  have  been  slain. 
When  he  returned  to  his  home  at  Mizpeh  his 


only  daughter  came  to  meet  him  joyfully,  with  her 
maidens  and  timbrels  and  dancing.  Jephthah  tore 
his  garments  and  cried,  "  My  daughter,  thou  hast 
brought  me  very  low  ;  I  have  opened  my  mouth  to 
Jehovah  and  cannot  take  it  back."  "  My  father,"  she 
answered,  "  if  thou  hast  opened  thy  mouth  to  Jehovah, 
do  to  me  as  thou  hast  spoken,  for  Jehovah  has  given 
thee  vengeance  on  thine  enemies,  the  Ammonites. 
But  first  let  me  go  with  my  companions  to  the 
mountains,  and  there  for  two  months  bewail  my  vir- 
ginity." This  was  done,  and  on  her  return  Jephthah 
did  to  her  according  to  his  vow.  Arid  it  was  a  custom 
in  Israel  for  the  maidens  to  lament  the  daughter  of 
Jephthah  for  four  days  in  the  year.  After  this 
Jephthah  is  said  to  have  been  judge  for  six  years 
longer  beyond  Jordan,  i.  e.  to  have  maintained  the 
peace  in  these  districts. 

Grievous  calamity  came  upon  Israel  in  this  period 
from  a  migratory  people  of  the  Syrian  desert,  from 
the  incursions  of  the  Midians,  who,  like  the  Moabites 
and  Ammonites,  are  designated  in  Genesis  as  a  nation 
kindred  to  the  Israelites,  with  whom  Moses  was  said 
to  have  entered  into  close  relations  (I.  449,  468). 
Now  the  Midianites  with  other  tribes  of  the  desert  at- 
tacked Israel  in  constant  predatory  incursions.  "  Like 
locusts  in  multitude,"  we  are  told,  "  the  enemy  came 
with  their  flocks  and  tents ;  there  was  no  end  of  them 
and  their  camels.  When  Israel  had  sowed  the  sons  of 
the  East  came  up  and  destroyed  the  increase  of  the 
land  as  far  as  Gaza,  and  left  no  sustenance  remaining, 
no  sheep,  oxen  and  asses.  And  the  sons  of  Israel  were 
compelled  to  hide  themselves  in  ravines,  and  caves,  and 
mountain  fortresses."  l  For  seven  years  Israel  is  said 
to  have  been  desolated  in  this  manner.  Beside  the 

1  Judges  vi.  2 — 5. 

104  ISRAEL. 

tribes  of  Issachar  and  Zebulun,  between  Mount  Tabor 
and  the  Kishon,  dwelt  a  part  of  the  tribe  of  Manasseh. 
The  family  of  Abiezer,  belonging  to  this  tribe,  possessed 
Ophra.  In  an  incursion  of  the  Midianites  the  sons  of 
Joash,  a  man  of  this  family,  were  slain  ; l  only  Gideon, 
the  youngest,  remained.  When  the  Midianites  came 
again,  after  their  wont,  at  the  time  of  harvest,  and 
encamped  on  the  plain  of  Jezreel,  and  Gideon  was 
beating  wheat  in  the  vat  of  the  wine-press  in  order  to 
save  the  corn  from  the  Midianites,  Jehovah  aroused  him. 
He  gathered  the  men  of  his  family  around  him,  300 
in  number.2  When  Jehovah  had  given  him  a  favour- 
able sign,  and  he  had  reconnoitred  the  camp  of  the 
Midianites,  together  with  his  armour-bearer  Phurah,  he 
determined  to  attack  them  in  the  night.  He  divided  his 
troop  into  companies  containing  a  hundred  men  ;  each 
took  a  trumpet  and  a  lighted  torch,  which  was  concealed 
in  an  earthen  pitcher.  These  companieswere  to  approach 
the  camp  of  the  Midianites  from  three  sides,  and  when 
Gideon  blew  the  trumpet  and  disclosed  his  torch  they 
were  all  to  do  the  same.  Immediately  after  the  second 
night-watch,  when  the  Midianites  had  just  changed  the 
guards,  Gideon  gave  the  signal.  All  broke  their  pitchers, 
blew  their  trumpets,  and  cried,  "  The  sword  for  Jeho- 
vah and  Gideon  !  "  Startled,  terrified,  and  imagining 
that  they  were  attacked  by  mighty  hosts,  the  Midianites 
fled.  Then  the  men  of  Manasseh,  Asher,  Zebulun  and 
Naphtali  arose,  and  Gideon  hastily  sent  messengers  to 

1  Judges  viii.  19. 

2  The  observation  that   Gideon  was  the  least  in  the  house  of  his 
father,  and  his  family   the  weakest  in  Manasseh   (Judges  vi.    15), 
is  due  no  doubt  to  the  tendency  of  the  Ephraimitic  text  to  show 
how  strong  Jehovah  is  even  in  the  weak.     From  similar  motives  it  is 
said  that  Gideon  himself  reduced  his  army  to  300  men  (Judges  vii. 
2 — 6).     In  the  presence  of  the  Ephraimites  Gideon  speaks  only  of  the 
family  of  Abiezer. 


the  Ephraimites  that  they  should  seize  the  fords  "of 
Jordan   before  the   Midianites.     The  Ephraimites  as- 
sembled and  took  two  princes  of  the  Midianites,  Oreb 
(Raven)  and  Zeeb  (Wolf).      The  Ephraimites  strove 
with  Gideon  that  he  had  not  summoned  them  sooner. 
Gideon  replied  modestly,  "  Is  not  the  gleaning  of  the 
grapes  of  Ephraim  better  than  the  vintage  of  Abiezer? 
Did  not  Jehovah  give  the  princes  of  Midian  into  your 
hand  ?     Could  I  do  what  ye  have  done  ? "     He  pur- 
sued the  Midianites  over  the  Jordan  in  order  to  get 
into  his  power  their  princes   Zebah   and  Zalmunna, 
who   had   previously  slain    his  brothers.      When    he 
passed   the  river   at    Succoth  he  asked  the  men   of 
Succoth  to  give  bread  to  his  wearied  soldiers.     But 
the   elders  feared   the  vengeance  of   the  Midianites, 
arid  said,  "Are  Zebah  and  Zalmunna  already  in  thine 
hand,    that    we   should    give   bread   to   thy   men  ? " 
Gideon  replied  in  anger,  "  If  Jehovah  gives  them  into 
my  hand  I  will  tear  your  flesh  with  the  thorns  of  the 
wilderness  and  with  briers."    The  inhabitants  of  Penuel 
on  the  Jabbok  also,  to  which  Gideon  marched,  refused 
to  feed  their  countrymen ;  like  those  of  Succoth,  they 
feared  the  Midianites.     Gideon  led  his  army  by  the 
way  of  the  dwellers  in  tents  far  away  to  Karkor.    Here 
he  defeated  and  scattered  the  15,000  Midianites  who 
had  escaped,  and  captured  the  two  princes.     Then  he 
turned  back  to  Succoth  and  said  to  the  elders,  "  See, 
here  are  Zebah  and  Zalmunna,  for  whom  ye  mocked 
me."     He  caused  them  to  be  seized,  seventy-seven  in 
number,  and  tore  them  to  death  with  thorns  and  briers. 
The  tower  of  Penuel  he  destroyed,  and  caused  the  in- 
habitants of  the  place  to  be  slain.     To  the  captured 
princes  he  said,   "  What  manner  of  men   were  they 
whom  ye  once  slew  at  Tabor  ? "    And  they  answered, 
"  As  thou  art,  they  looked  like  the  sons  of  a  king." 

106  ISEAEL. 

"  They  were  my  brethren,  the  sons  of  my  mother," 
Gideon  answered.  "As  Jehovah  liveth,  if  ye  had 
saved  them  alive  I  would  not  slay  you.  Stand  up," 
he  called  to  his  first-born  son  Jether,  "and  slay  them." 
But  the  youth  feared  and  drew  not  his  sword,  for  he 
was  yet  young.  "  Slay  us  thyself,"  said  the  prisoners, 
"  for  as  the  man  is,  so  is  his  strength."  This  was  done. 
When  the  booty  was  divided  Gideon  claimed  as  his 
share  the  golden  ear-rings  of  the  slain  Midianites. 
They  were  collected  in  Gideon's  mantle,  and  the  weight 
reached  1700  shekels  of  gold,  beside  the  purple  raiment 
of  the  dead  kings,  and  the  moons  and  chains  on  the 
necks  of  the  camels. 

Gideon  had  gained  a  brilliant  victory ;  no  more  is 
heard  of  the  raids  of  the  Midianites.  Out  of  the  booty 
he  set  up  a  gilded  image  (ephod)  at  Ophra.1  He  over- 
threw the  altar  of  Baal  and  the  image  of  Astarte  in  his 
city ;  and  this,  as  is  expressly  stated,  in  the  night 
(from  which  we  must  conclude  that  the  inhabitants 
of  Ophra  were  attached  to  this  worship) ;  and  in  the 
place  of  it  he  set  up  an  altar  to  Jehovah  on  the 
height,  and  in  the  city  another  altar,  which  he  called 
"Jehovah,  peace."  "Unto  this  day  it  is  still  in 

After  the  liberation  of  the  land,  which  was  owing  to 
him,  Gideon  held  the  first  place  in  Israel.  We  are 
told  that  the  crown  had  been  offered  to  him  and  that 
he  refused  it.2  But  if  Gideon  left  70  sons  of  his  body 
by  many  wives,  if  we  find  that  his  influence  descended 
to  his  sons,  he  must  have  held  an  almost  royal  position, 
in  which  a  harem  was  not  wanting.  He  died,  as  it 

1  What  is  meant  in  Judges  viii.  27  by  an  ephod  is  not  clear.  The 
•words  which  follow  in  the  verse — that  all  Israel  went  whoring  after 
Gideon — are  obviously  an  addition  of  the  prophetic  revision. 

*  Judges  viii.  22. 


seems,  in  a  good  old  age,  and  was  buried  in  the  grave 
of  his  fathers  (after  1150  B.C.1). 

The  same  need  of  protection  which  preserved  Gideon 
in  power  till  his  death  had  induced  some  cities  to  form 
a  league,  after  the  pattern  of  the  cities  of  the  Philis- 
tines, for  mutual  support  and  security.  Shechem, 
the  old  metropolis  of  the  tribe  of  Ephraim,  was  the 
chief  city  of  this  league.  Here  on  the  citadel  at 
Shechem  the  united  cities  had  built  a  temple  to  Baal 
Berith,  i.  e.  to  Baal  of  the  league,  and  established  a 
fund  for  the  league  in  the  treasury  of  this  temple. 
One  of  the  70  sons  of  Gideon,  the  child  of  a  woman  of 
Shechem,  by  name  Abimelech,  conceived  the  plan  of 
establishing  a  monarchy  in  Israel  by  availing  himself 
of  Gideon's  name  and  memory,  the  desire  for  order  and 
protection  from  which  the  league  had  arisen,  and  the 
resources  of  the  cities.  At  first  he  sought  to  induce 
the  cities  to  make  him  their  chief.  Supported  by  them, 
he  sought  to  remove  his  brothers  and  to  take  the 
monarchy  into  his  own  hands  as  the  only  heir  of 
Gideon.  A  skilful  warrior  like  Abimelech,  who  carried 
with  him  the  fame  and  influence  of  a  great  father, 
must  have  been  welcome  to  the  cities  as  a  leader  and 
chief  in  such  wild  times.  Abimelech  spoke  to  the 
men  of  Shechem :  "  Consider  that  I  am  your  bone  and 
your  flesh  ;  which  is  better,  that  70  men  rule  over  you 
or  I  only  ? "  Then  the  citizens  of  Shechem  and  the 
inhabitants  of  the  citadel  assembled  under  the  oak  of 
Shechem  and  made  Abimelech  their  king,  and  gave 
him  70  shekels  of  silver  from  the  temple  of  Baal 
Berith,  "  that  he  might  be  able  to  pay  people  to  serve 
him."  "With  these  and  the  men  of  Shechem  who  followed 

1  Gideon's  date  can  only  be  fixed  very  indefinitely.  lie  and  the 
generations  after  him  must  have  belonged  to  the  second  half  of  the 
twelfth  century  B.C. 

108  ISRAEL. 

him  he  marched  and  slew  all  his  brethren  at  Ophra  in 
his  father's  house  (one  only,  Jotham,  escaped  him),  and 
Israel  obeyed  him.  Abimelech  seemed  to  have  reached 
his  object.  Perhaps  he  might  have  maintained  the 
throne  thus  won  by  blood  had  he  not,  three  years 
afterwards,  quarrelled  with  the  cities  which  helped  him 
to  power.  The  cities  rose  against  him.  Abimelech 
with  his  forces  went  against  the  chief  city,  Shechem. 
The  city  was  taken  and  destroyed,  the  inhabitants 
massacred.  About  1000  men  and  women  fled  for  refuge 
into  the  temple  of  Baal  Berith  in  the  citadel ;  Abime- 
lech caused  them  to  be  burned  along  with  the  temple. 
Then  he  turned  from  Shechem  to  Thebez,  some  miles 
to  the  north.  When  he  stormed  the  city  the  inhabit- 
ants fled  into  the  strong  tower,  closed  it,  and  went  up 
on  the  roof  of  the  tower.  Abimelech  pressed  on  to 
the  door  of  the  tower  to  set  it  on  lire,  when  a  woman 
threw  a  stone  down  from  above  which  fell  on  Abime- 
lech and  broke  his  skull.  Then  the  king  called  to  his 
armour-bearer,  "Draw  thy  sword  and  slay  me,  that  it 
may  not  be  said,  A  woman  slew  him."  The  youthful 
monarchy  was  wrecked  on  this  quarrel  of  the  citizens 
with  the  new  king. 

After  this  time  Eli  the  priest  at  the  sacred  taber- 
nacle, a  descendant  of  Ithamar,  the  youngest  son  of 
Aaron,1  is  said  to  have  been  in  honour  among  the 
Israelites.  Not  only  was  he  the  priest  of  the  national 
shrine,  but  counsel  and  judgment  were  also  sought  from 
him.  But  Eli's  sons,  Hophni  and  Phinehas;  did  evil, 
and  lay  with  the  women  who  came  to  the  sacred  taber- 
nacle to  offer  prayer  and  sacrifice.2 

1  Joseph.  "  Antiq."  5,  11,  5.  2  1  Sam.  ii.  22—25. 



MORE  than  a  century  and  a  half  had  passed  since  the 
Israelites  had  won  their  land  in  Canaan.  The  greater 
part  of  the  tribes,  beside  the  breeding  of  cattle,  were 
occupied  with  the  cultivation  of  vines  and  figs,  and 
regular  agriculture ;  the  minority  had  become  accus- 
tomed to  life  in  settled  cities,  and  the  earliest  stages 
of  industry ;  but  the  unity  of  the  nation  was  lost, 
and  in  the  place  of  the  religious  fervour  which  once 
accompanied  the  exodus  from  Egypt,  the  rites  of  the 
Syrian  deities  had  forced  their  way  in  alongside  of  the 
worship  of  Jehovah.  The  division  and  disorganisation 
of  the  nation  had  exposed  the  Israelites  to  the  attacks 
of  their  neighbours ;  the  attempt  of  Abimelech  to 
establish  a  monarchy  in  connection  with  the  cities  had 
failed ;  the  anarchy  still  continued.  Worse  dangers  still 
might  be  expected  in  the  future.  The  forces  of  the 
Moabites,  Midianites,  and  Ammonites  were  not  superior 
to  that  of  the  Israelites,  the  attacks  of  the  tribes  of  the 
desert  were  of  a  transitory  nature  ;  but  what  if  the  cities 
of  the  coast,  superior  in  civilisation,  art,  and  combined 
power,  should  find  it  convenient  when  the  affairs  of 
Israel  were  in  this  position  to  extend  their  borders  to  the 
interior,  and  Israel  should  be  gradually  subjugated  from 
the  coast  ?  From  the  Phenicians  there  was  nothing  to 
fear :  navigation  and  trade  entirely  occupied  them  ; 

110  ISRAEL. 

from  the  beginning  of  the  eleventh  century  their  ships 
devoted  their  attention  to  discoveries  in  the  Atlantic 
Ocean,  beyond  the  straits  of  Gibraltar  (p.  83).  The 
case  was  different  with  the  warlike  cities  of  the  Philis- 
tines. If  the  Philistines  were  behind  the  Israelites  in 
the  extent  of  their  territory  and  dominion,  their  forces 
were  held  together  and  well  organised  by  means  of 
the  confederation  of  the  cities.  Bounded  to  the  west 
by  the  sea,  and  to  the  south  by  the  desert,  the  only 
path  open  to  them  for  extending  their  power  was  in 
the  direction  of  the  Hebrews.  For  a  long  time  they 
had  been  content  to  put  a  limit  upon  the  extension  of 
the  tribes  of  Judah  and  Dan,  but  in  the  first  half  of  the 
eleventh  century  B.C.  the  condition  of  Israel  appeared 
to  the  federation  of  the  Philistines  sufficiently  inviting 
to  induce  them  to  pass  from  defence  to  attack.  Their 
blows  fell  first  on  Judah,  Simeon,  and  the  part  of  Dan 
which  had  remained  in  the  south  on  the  borders  of  the 
Philistines  ;  tribes  which  had  hitherto  been  exempted 
from  attack,  whose  territory  had  been  protected  by 
the  deserts  on  the  south,  and  the  Dead  Sea  on  the 
east.  But  now  they  were  attacked  from  the  direction 
of  the  sea.  The  struggle  with  the  Philistines  was  not 
a  matter  of  rapine  and  plunder,  but  of  freedom  and 
independence.  The  aim  of  the  five  princes  of  the 
Philistines  (I.  348)  was  directed  towards  the  extension 
of  their  own  borders  and  their  own  dominion,  and  the 
war  against  the  Israelites  was  soon  carried  on  with 
vigour.  The  tribes  of  Judah  and  Dan  were  reduced 
to  submission.1  If  the  Israelites  did  not  succeed  in 
uniting  their  forces,  if  they  could  not  repair  what  was 
neglected  at  the  conquest,  and  had  since  been  at- 
tempted in  vain,  the  suppression  of  their  independence, 
their  religious  and  national  life,  appeared  certain.  The 

1  Judges  xiii.  1 ;  xiv.  4  ;  xv.  11 ;  1  Sam.  iv.  9. 


question  was  whether  the  nation  of  Israel,  accustomed 
to  an  independent  and  defiant  life  in  small  communities, 
and  corrupted  by  it,  possessed  sufficient  wisdom  and 
devotion  to  solve  the  difficult  task  now  laid  upon  it. 

It  was  a  melancholy  time  for  Israel  when  the  Philis- 
tines ruled  over  the  south  of  the  land.  Later  gener- 
ations found  some  comfort  for  this  national  disgrace 
in  the  narratives  of  the  strong  and  courageous  Samson, 
the  son  of  Manoah,  of  the  tribe  of  Dan,  whose  deeds 
were  placed  by  tradition  in  this  period.  He  had  done 
the  Philistines  much  mischief,  and  slain  many  of  them  ; 
even  when  his  foolish  love  for  a  Philistine  maiden 
finally  brought  him  to  ruin,  he  slew  more  Philistines 
at  his  death  than  in  his  life — "  about  3000  men  and 
women."1  Whatever  be  the  truth  about  these  deeds, 
no  individual  effort  could  avail  to  save  Israel  when 
the  Philistines  seriously  set  themselves  to  conquer 
the  northern  tribes,  unless  the  nation  roused  itself 
and  combined  all  its  forces  under  one  definite  head. 

1  In  Samson,  who  overcomes  the  lion,  and  sends  out  the  foxes 
with  firebrands,  who  overthrows  the  pillars  of  the  temple,  and  buries 
himself  under  it,  Steinthal  ("Zeitschrift  fur  Volkerpsychologie, "  2, 
21)  recognises  the  sun-god  of  the  Syrians.  The  name  Samson  means 
as  a  fact  "  the  sunny  one."  The  long  hair  in  which  Samson's  strength 
lay  may  symbolise  the  growth  of  nature  in  the  summer,  and  the 
cutting  off  of  it  the  decay  of  creative  power  in  the  winter :  so  too  the 
binding  of  Samson  may  signify  the  imprisoned  power  of  the  sun  in 
winter.  As  Melkarth  in  the  winter  went  to  rest  at  his  pillars  in  the 
far  west,  at  the  end  of  his  wanderings,  so  Samson  goes  to  his  rest 
between  the  two  pillars  in  the  city  on  the  shore  of  the  western  sea.  If, 
finally,  Samson  becomes  the  servant  of  a  mistress  Dalilah — i.  e.  "the 
tender  " — this  also  is  a  trait  which  belongs  to  the  myth  of  Melkarth  ;  cf. 
I.  371.  It  is  not  to  be  denied  that  traits  of  this  myth  have  forced 
their  way  into  the  form  and  legend  of  Samson,  although  the  long  hair 
belongs  not  to  Samson  only,  but  to  Samuel  and  all  the  Nazarites ;  yet 
we  must  not  from  these  traits  draw  the  conclusion  that  the  son  of 
Manoah  is  no  more  than  a  mythical  figure,  and  even  those  traits  must 
have  gone  through  many  stages  among  the  Israelites  before  they  could 
assume  a  form  of  such  vigorous  liveliness,  such  broad  reality,  as  we 
find  pourtrayed  in  the  narrative  of  Samson. 

112  ISRAEL. 

The  Philistines  invaded  the  land  of  Ephraim  with  a 
mighty  army,  and  forced  their  way  beyond  it  north- 
wards as  far  as  Aphek,  two  leagues  to  the  south  of 
Tabor.  At  Tabor  the  Israelites  assembled  and  at- 
tempted to  check  the  Philistines,  but  they  failed  ;  4000 
Israelites  were  slain.  Then  the  elders  of  Israel,  in 
order  to  encourage  the  people,  caused  the  ark  of 
Jehovah  to  be  brought  from  Shiloh  into  the  camp. 
Eli,  the  priest  at  the  sacred  tabernacle,  was  of  the  age  of 
98  years.  Hophni  and  Phinehas,  his  sons,  accompanied 
the  sacred  ark,  which  was  welcomed  by  the  army  with 
shouts  of  joy.  In  painful  expectation  Eli  sat  at  the 
gate  of  Shiloh  and  awaited  the  result.  Then  a  man 
of  the  tribe  of  Benjamin  came  in  haste,  with  his  clothes 
rent,  and  earth  upon  his  head,  and  said,  "  Israel  is  fled 
before  the  Philistines,  thy  sons  are  dead,  and  the  ark 
of  God  is  lost."  Eli  fell  backwards  from  his  seat,  broke 
his  neck,  and  died.  About  30,000  men  are  said  to 
have  fallen  in  the  battle  (about  1070  B.C.).1 

1  The  simplest  method  of  obtaining  a  fixed  starting-point  for  the 
date  of  the  foundation  of  the  monarchy  in  Israel  is  to  reckon  backwards 
from  the  capture  of  Jerusalem,  and  the  destruction  of  the  temple  by 
Nebuchadnezzar.  According  to  the  canon  of  Ptolemy,  Nebuchad- 
nezzar's reign  began  in  the  year  604  B.C.,  the  temple  and  Jerusalem 
were  burned  down  in  the  nineteenth  year  of  king  Nebuchadnezzar  (2 
Kings  xxv.  8  ;  Jer.  Hi.  12),  i,  e.  in  the  year  586  B.C.  From  this  year  the 
Hebrews  reckoned  430  years  to  the  commencement  of  the  building  of 
the  temple  (430  =  37  years  of  Solomon  since  the  beginning  of  the 
building  +  261  years  from  the  death  of  Solomon  to  the  taking  of 
Samaria  +  132  years  from  the  taking  of  Samaria  to  the  destruction 
of  the  temple).  Hence  the  building  of  the  temple  was  commenced 
in  the  year  1015  B.C.  Since  the  commencement  of  the  building  is 
placed  in  the  fourth  year  of  Solomon,  his  accession  would  fall  in  the 
year  1018  B.C.;  and  as  40  years  are  allotted  to  David,  his  accession  at 
Hebron  falls  in  1058  B.C.,  and  Saul's  election  about  1080  B.C.  In  the 
present  text  only  the  number  two  is  left  of  the  amount  of  the  years  of 
his  reign  (1  Sam.  xiii.  1),  the  years  of  his  life  also  are  lost ;  we  may 
perhaps  assume  22  years  for  his  reign,  since  Eupolemus  gives  him  21 
years  (Alex.  Polyh.  Frag.  18,  ed.  Miiller),  and  Josephus  20  ("  Antiq." 
6,  14,  9.  10,  8,  4).  His  contemporary,  Nahash  of  Ammon,  is  on  the 


At  the  sacred  tabernacle  at  Shiloh  Samuel  the  son 
of  Elkanah  had  served  under  Eli.     Elkanah  was  an 

throne  before  the  election  of  Saul,  and  continues  beyond  the  death  of 
Saul  and  Ishbosheth,  and  even  10  years  into  the  reigr.  of  David. 
Nahash  must  have  had  an  uncommonly  long  reign  if  Saul  reigned 
more  than  22  years.  It  makes  against  the  dates  1080  B.C.  for  S'aul, 
1058  B.C.  for  David,  1018  B.C.  for  Solomon,  that  they  rest  upon  tne 
succession  of  kings  of  Judah,  from  the  division  of  the  kingdom  down 
to  the  fall  of  Samaria,  which  is  reckoned  at  261  years,  while  the 
succession  of  kings  of  Israel  during  the  same  period  only  fills  241 
years.  Movers  ("  Phoeniz."  2,  1,  140  ff.)  has  attempted  to  remove  this 
difficulty  by  assuming  as  a  starting-point  the  statements  of  Menander 
of  Ephesus,  on  the  succession  of  kings  in  Tyre,  preserved  in  Josephus 
("c.  Apion,"  1,  18).  Josephus  says  that  from  the  building  of  the 
temple,  which  took  place  in  the  twelfth  year  of  Hiram  king  of  Tyre, 
down  to  the  founding  of  Carthage,  which  took  place  in  the  seventh 
year  of  Pygmalion  king  of  Tyre,  143  years  8  months  elapsed.  From 
the  date  given  by  Justin  (18,  7)  for  the  founding  of  Carthage  (72 
years  before  the  founding  of  Eome;  72  +  754),  i.  e.  from  826  B.C., 
Movers  reckons  back  143  years,  and  so  fixes  the  building  of  the 
temple  at  the  year  969  B.C.,  on  which  reckoning  Solomon's  accession 
would  fall  in  the  year  972  B.C.,  David's  in  the  year  1012  B.C.,  and 
Saul's  election  in  1034  B.C.  But  since  the  more  trustworthy  dates 
for  the  year  of  the  founding  of  Carthage,  846,  826,  and  816,  have  an 
equal  claim  to  acceptance,  we  are  equally  justified  in  reckoning  back 
from  846  and  816  to  Saul's  accession. 

According  to  the  canon  of  the  Assyrians,  the  epochs  in  which  were 
fixed  by  the  observation  of  the  solar  eclipse  of  July  15  in  the  year 
763  B.C.,  Samaria  was  taken  in  the  year  722  B.C.  If  from  this  we 
reckon  backwards  261  years  for  Judah,  Solomon's  death  would  fall  in 
the  year  983  B.C.,  his  accession  in  1023  B.C.,  David's  accession  in  1063 
B.C.,  Saul's  election  in  1085  B.C.  If  we  keep  to  the  amount  given  for 
Israel  (241  years  +  722),  Solomon's  death  falls  in  963,  his  accession  in 
1003,  the  building  of  the  temple  in  1000  B.C.,  David's  accession  in 
1043  B.C.,  Saul's  accession  in  1065  B.C.  But  neither  by  retaining  the 
whole  sum  of  430  years,  according  to  which  the  building  of  the  temple 
begins  1015  B.C.  (430  -4-  586),  and  Solomon  dies  in  978  B.C.,  nor  by 
putting  the  death  of  Solomon  in  the  year  983  or  963  B.C.,  do  we  bring 
the  Assyrian  monuments  into  agreement  with  the  chronological  state- 
ments of  the  Hebrews.  If  we  place  the  date  of  the  division  of  the 
kingdom  at  the  year  978  B.C.,  Ahab's  reign,  according  to  the  numbers 
given  by  the  Hebrews  for  the  kingdom  of  Israel,  extends  from  916  to 
894  B.C.  ;  if  we  place  the  division  at  963  B.C.,  it  extends,  according  to  the 
same  calculation,  from  901  to  879  B.C.  On  the  other  hand,  the  Assyrian 
monuments  prove  that  Ahab  fought  at  Karkar  against  Shalmanesar  II. 
in  the  year  854  B.C.  (below,  chap.  10).  Since  Ahab  after  this  carried  on 
a  war  against  Damascus,  in  which  war  he  died,  he  must  in  any  case 
VOL.  II.  I 

114  ISRAEL. 

Ephraimite;   lie   dwelt   at   Ramah   (Kamathaim,   and 

have  been  alive  in  853  B.C.  Hence  even  the  lower  date  taken  for  Ahab's 
reign  from  the  Hebrew  statements  (901 — 879  B.C.)  would  have  to  be 
brought  down  26  years,  and  as  a  necessary  consequence  the  death 
of  Solomon  would  fall,  not  in  the  year  963  B.C.,  but  in  the  year 
937  B.C. 

If  we  could  conclude  from  this  statement  in  the  Assyrian  monuments 
that  the  reigns  of  the  kings  of  Israel  were  extended  by  the  Hebrews 
beyond  the  truth,  it  follows  from  another  monument,  the  inscription 
of  Mesha,  that  abbreviations  also  took  place.  According  to  the  Second 
Book  of  Kings  (iii.  5),  Mesha  of  Moab  revolted  from  Israel  when  Ahab 
died.  The  stone  of  Mesha  says:  "  Omri  took  Medaba,  and  Israel 
dwelt  therein  in  his  and  his  son's  days  for  40  years ;  in  my  days  Camus 
restored  it;  "  Noldeke,  "  Inschrift  des  Mesa."  Hence  Omri,  the  father 
of  Ahab,  took  Medaba  40  years  before  the  death  of  Ahab.  Ahab, 
according  to  the  Hebrews,  reigned  22  years,  Omri  12.  According  to  the 
etone  of  Mesha  the  two  reigns  must  have  together  amounted  to  more 
than  40  years.  Since  Omri  obtained  the  throne  by  force,  and  had  at 
first  to  carry  on  a  long  civil  war,  and  establish  himself  on  the  throne 
(1  Kings  xvi.  21,  22),  he  could  not  make  war  upon  the  Moabites  at  the 
very  beginning  of  his  reign.  Here,  therefore,  there  is  an  abbreviation 
of  the  reign  of  Omri  and  Ahab  by  at  least  10  years. 

Hence  the  contradiction  between  the  monuments  of  the  Assyrians 
and  the  numbers  of  the  Hebrews  is  not  to  be  removed  by  merely 
bringing  down  the  division  of  the  kingdom  to  the  year  937  B.C.  In 
order  to  obtain  a  chronological  arrangement  at  all,  we  are  placed  in 
the  awkward  necessity  of  making  an  attempt  to  bring  the  canon  of 
the  Assyrians  into  agreement  with  the  statements  of  the  Hebrews  by 
assumptions  more  or  less  arbitrary.  Jehu  slew  Joram  king  of  Israel 
and  Ahaziah  of  Judah  at  the  same  time.  From  this  date  upwards  to 
the  death  of  Solomon  the  Hebrew  Scriptures  reckon  98  years  for 
Israel,  and  95  for  Judah.  Jehu  ascended  the  throne  of  Israel  in  the 
year  843  B.C.  at  the  latest,  since,  according' to  the  Assyrian  monuments, 
he  paid  tribute  to  Shalmanesar  II.  in  the  year  842  B.C.  If  we  reckon 
the  98  years  for  Israel  upwards  from  843  B.C.,  we  arrive  at  941  B.C.  for 
the  division  of  the  kingdom ;  and  if  to  this  we  add,  as  the  time  which 
has  doubtlessly  fallen  out  in  the  reigns  of  Omri  and  Ahab,  12  years, 
953  B.C.  would  be  the  year  of  the  death  of  Solomon,  the  year  in  which 
the  ten  tribes  separated  from  the  house  of  David.  If  we  keep  the  year 
953  for  the  division,  the  year  993  comes  out  for  the  accession  of 
Solomon,  the  year  990  for  the  beginning  of  the  building  of  the  temple, 
the  year  1033  for  the  accession  of  David  at  Hebron,  and  the  year 
1055  for  the  election  of  Saul.  Fifteen  years  may  be  taken  for  the 
continuance  of  the  heavy  oppression  before  Saul.  For  the  changes 
which  we  must  in  consequence  of  this  assumption  establish  in  the 
data  of  the  reigns  from  Jeroboam  and  Eehoboam  down  to  Athaliah 
and  Jehu,  i.  e.  in  the  period  from  953  B.C.  to  843  B.C.,  see  below. 


hence  among  the  Greeks  Arimathia1).  Samuel  was 
born  to  him  late  in  life,  and,  in  gratitude  that  at  last 
a  son  was  given  to  her,  his  mother  had  dedicated  him  to 
Jehovah,  and  given  him  to  Eli  to  serve  in  the  sanctuary. 
Thus  even  as  a  boy  Samuel  waited  at  the  sacrifices  in 
a  linen  tunic,  and  performed  the  sacred  rites.  He 
grew  up  in  the  fear  of  Jehovah  and  became  a  seer,  who 
saw  what  was  hidden,  a  soothsayer,  whom  the  people 
consulted  in  distress  of  any  kind,  and  at  the  same  time 
he  announced  the  will  of  Jehovah,  for  Jehovah  had 
called  him,  and  permitted  him  to  see  visions,  "  so  that 
he  knew  how  to  speak  the  word  of  God,  which  was 
rare  in  those  days/'  and  "  Jehovah  was  with  him  and 
let  none  of  Samuel's  words  fall  to  the  ground." !  After 
the  crushing  defeat  at  Aphek  it  devolved  on  Samuel  to 
perform  the  duties  of  high  priest.  He  summoned  the 
people  to  Mizpeh  in  the  tribe  of  Benjamin  and  prayed 
for  Israel.  Large  libations  of  water  were  poured  to 
Jehovah.  When  the  Philistines  advanced  Samuel 

Omri's  reign  occupies  the  period  from  899 — 875  B.C.  (24  years  instead 
of  12),  t.  e.  a  period  which  agrees  with,  the  importance  of  this  reign 
among  the  Moabites  and  the  Assyrians;  Ahab  reigned  from  875 — 853 
B.C.  According  to  1  Kings  xvi.  31,  Ahab  took  Jezebel  the  daughter 
of  Ethbaal  the  king  of  the  Sidonians  to  wife.  If  this  Ethbaal  of  Sidon 
is  identical  with  the  Ithobal  of  Tyre  in  Josephus,  the  chronology 
deduced  from  our  assumptions  would  not  be  impossible.  Granted  the 
assertion  of  Josephus  that  the  twelfth  year  of  Hiram  king  of  Tyre  is 
the  fourth  year  of  Solomon  (990  B.C.),  Hiram's  accession  would  fall  in 
the  year  1001  B.C. ;  according  to  Josephus,  Ithobal  ascended  the  throne 
of  Tyre  85  years  after  Hiram's  accession,  when  he  had  slain  Pheles. 
He  lived  according  to  the  same  authority  68  years  and  reigned  32 
years,  i.  e.  from  916 — 884  B.C.  Ahab,  either  before  or  after  the  year 
of  his  accession  (875),  might  very  well  have  taken  the  daughter  of  this 
prince  to  wife.  And  if  we  assume  that  the  statement  of  Appian,  that 
Carthage  was  in  existence  700  years  before  her  destruction  by  the 
Eomans,  i.  e.  was  founded  in  the  year  846  B.C.,  the  143f  or  144  years 
of  Josephus  between  the  building  of  the  temple  and  the  foundation  of 
Carthage,  reckoned  backwards  from  846  B.C.,  lead  us  to  the  year  990 
B.C.  for  the  building  of  the  temple. 

1  Now  Beit-Eima,  north-east  of  the  later  Lydda. 

3  1  Sam.  iii.  1,  19. 


116  ISRAEL. 

sacrificed  a  sucking  lamb  (no  doubt  as  a  sin-offering), 
and  burned  it.  "  Then  on  that  day  Jehovah  thundered 
mightily  out  of  heaven  over  the  Philistines,  and  con- 
founded them  so  that  they  were  defeated." 

This  victory  remained  without  lasting  results.      On 
the  contrary,  the  slavery  of  the  Israelites  to  the  Philis- 
tines became  more   extensive   and  more  severe.     In 
order  to  bring  the  northern  tribes  into  the  same  sub- 
jection as  the  tribes  of  Dan,  Judah,  and  Simeon,  the 
Philistines  established  fortified  camps  at  Michmash  and 
Geba  (Gibeah)  in  the  tribe  of  Benjamin,  as  a  centre 
from  which  to  hold  this  and  the  northern  tribes  in  check. 
The  men  of  the  tribes  of  Judah  and  Simeon  had  to  take 
the  field  against  their  own  countrymen.    These  arrange- 
ments soon  obtained  their  object.     All  Israel  on  this 
side  of  the  Jordan  was  reduced  to  subjection.      In 
order  to  make  a  rebellion  impossible,  the  Israelites 
were  deprived  of  their  arms ;  indeed,  the  Philistines 
were  not  content  that  they  should  give  up  the  arms  in 
their  possession,  they  even  removed  the  smiths  from 
the  land,  that  no  one  might  provide  a  sword  or  javelin 
for  the  Hebrews.     The  oppression   of  this  dominion 
pressed  so  heavily  and  with  such  shame  on  the  Israelites 
.  that  the  books  of  Samuel  themselves  tell  us,  if  the 
plough-shares,  bills,  and  mattocks  became  dull,  or  the 
forks  were  bent,  the  children  of  Israel  had  to  go  down 
into  the  cities  of  the  Philistines  in  order  to  have  their 
implements  mended  and  sharpened.1 

At  this  period  Samuel's  activity  must  have  been 
limited  to  leading  back  the  hearts  of  the  Israelites  to 
the  God  who  brought  them  out  of  Egypt ;  he  must 
have  striven  to  fill  them  with  the  faith  with  which  he 
was  himself  penetrated,  and  the  distress  of  the  time 
would  contribute  to  gain  acceptance  for  his  teaching 

1  1  Sam.  xiii.  19—23,  from  the  older  account. 


and  his  prescripts.  The  people  sought  his  word  and 
decision  ;  he  is  said  to  have  given  judgment  at  Bethel, 
Gilgal,  and  Mizpeh.  He  gathered  scholars  and  disciples 
round  him,  who  praised  Jehovah  to  the  sound  of  harp 
and  lute,  flute  and  drum,  who  in  violent  agitation 
and  divine  excitement  awaited  his  visions,  and  "  were 
changed  into  other  men." l  From  the  position  which 
tradition  allots  to  Samuel,  there  can  be  no  doubt  that 
he  brought  the  belief  in  and  worship  of  the  old  god 
into  renewed  life,  and  caused  them  to  sink  deeper 
into  the  hearts  of  the  Israelites.  The  oppression  of 
his  people  by  the  Philistines  he  could  not  turn  away, 
though  he  cherished  a  lively  hope  in  the  help  of 

The  tribes  on  the  east  of  the  Jordan  remained  free 
from  the  dominion  of  the  Philistines ;  yet  for  them 
also  servitude  and  destruction  was  near  at  hand.  The 
Ammonites  were  not  inclined  to  let  slip  so  favourable 
an  opportunity,  As  the  land  on  the  west  of  the 
Jordan  was  subject  to  the  Philistines,  the  tribes  on 
the  east  would  prove  an  easy  prey.  The  Ammonites 
encamped  before  Jabesh  in  Gilead,  and  the  inhabitants 
were  ready  to  submit.  But  Nahash,  the  king  of  the 
Ammonites,  as  we  are  told,  would  only  accept  their 
submission  on  condition  that  every  man  in  Jabesh  put 
out  his  right  eye.  Then  the  elders  of  Jabesh  sent 
messengers  across  the  Jordan  and  earnestly  besought 
their  countrymen  for  help. 

The  tribe  of  Benjamin  had  to  feel  most  heavily,  no 
doubt,  the  oppression  of  the  Philistines.  In  their 
territory  lay  the  fortified  camps  of  the  enemy.  Here, 
at  Gibeah,  dwelt  a  man  of  the  race  of  Matri,  Saul  the 
son  of  Kish,  the  grandson  of  Abiel.  Kish  was  a  man  of 
substance  and  influence;  his  son  Saul  was  a  courageous 

1  1  Sam.  x.  5,  6 ;  xix.  20—24. 

118  ISRAEL. 

man,  of  remarkable  stature,  "  higher  by  a  head  than 
the  rest  of  the  nation."  He  was  in  the  full  strength  of 
his  years,  and  surrounded  by  valiant  sons  :  Jonathan, 
Melchishua,  Abinadab,  and  Ishbosheth.  One  day, 
"just  as  he  was  returning  home  from  the  field  behind 
his  oxen,"  he  heard  the  announcement  which  the 
messengers  of  Jabesh  brought.  Himself  under  the 
enemy's  yoke,  he  felt  the  more  deeply  what  threatened 
them.  His  heart  was  fired  at  the  shame  and  ruin  of 
his  people.  Regardless  of  the  Philistines,  he  formed  a 
bold  resolution ;  assistance  must  be  given  to  those  most 
in  need.  He  cut  two  oxen  in  pieces,  sent  the  pieces 
round  the  tribes,1  and  raised  the  cry,  "  Whoso  comes 
not  after  Saul,  so  shall  it  be  done  to  his  oxen."  The 
troop  which  gathered  round  him  out  of  compassion 
for  the  besieged  in  Jabesh,  and  in  obedience  to  his 
summons,  Saul  divided  into  three  companies.  With 
these  he  succeeded  in  surprising  the  camp  of  the 
Ammonites  about  the  morning  watch ;  he  dispersed 
the  hostile  army  and  set  Jabesh  free. 

Whatever  violence  and  cruelty  had  been  exercised 
since  the  settlement  of  the  Israelites  in  Canaan, 
however  many  the  feuds  and  severe  the  vengeance 
taken,  however  great  the  distress  and  the  oppression, 
the  nation,  amid  all  the  anarchy  and  freedom  so 
helpless  against  an  enemy,  still  preserved  a  healthy 
and  simple  feeling  and  vigorous  power.  And  at  this 
crisis  the  Israelites  .were  not  found  wanting;  Saul's 
bold  resolution,  the  success  in  setting  free  the  city  in 
her  sore  distress,  the  victory  thus  won,  the  first  joy  and 
hope  after  so  long  a  period  of  shame,  gave  the  people 
the  expectation  of  having  found  in  him  the  man  who 
was  able  to  set  them  free  from  the  dominion  of  the 
Philistines  also,  and  restore  independence,  and  law, 

1  Compare  the  division  of  the  corpse  by  the  Levite,  above,  p.  96. 


and  peace.  When  the  thank-offering  for  the  unex- 
pected victory,  for  the  liberation  of  the  land  of  Gilgal, 
was  offered  at  Gilgal  on  the  Jordan,  as  far  as  possible 
from  the  camp  of  the  Philistines,  "  all  the  people  went 
to  Gilgal,  and  there  made  Saul  king  before  Jehovah, 
and  Saul  and  all  the  men  of  Israel  rejoiced  greatly" 
(1055  B.C.). 

The  heavy  misfortunes  which  the  land  had  experi- 
enced for  a  long  time,  the  severe  oppression  of  the 
dominion  of  the  Philistines,  had  at  length  taught  the 
majority  that  rescue  could  only  come  by  a  close  con- 
nection and  union  of  the  powers  of  the  tribes,  and 
an  established  authority  supreme  over  all.  To  check 
anarchy  from  within  and  oppression  from  without  re- 
quired a  vigorous  hand,  a  ruling  will,  and  a  recognised 
power.  What  the  people  could  do  to  put  an  end  to  the 
disorganisation  was  now  done,  they  had  placed  a  man 
at  the  head  whom  they  might  expect  to  be  a  brave 
leader  and  resolute  guide.  The  Israelites  had  used 
their  sovereignty  to  give  themselves  a  master,  and 
might  hope  with  confidence  that  by  this  step  they  had 
laid  the  foundations  of  a  happier  future  which  they 
might  certainly  greet  with  joy.1 

1  Owing  to  the  later  conceptions  that  the  king  needed  to  be  consecrated 
by  the  prophets,  that  Jehovah  is  himself  the  King  of  Israel,  an 
almost  inexplicable  confusion  has  come  into  the  narrative  of  Saul's 
elevation.  Not  only  have  we  an  older  and  later  account  existing  side 
by  side  in  the  books  of  Samuel,  not  only  has  there  been  even  a  third 
hand  at  work,  but  the  attempts  to  bring  the  contradictory  accounts 
into  harmony  have  increased  the  evil.  In  1  Sam.  viii.  we  are  told : 
The  elders  of  Israel  and  the  people  required  from  Samuel  a  king  at 
Eamah,  because  he  was  old  and  his  sons  walked  not  in  his  ways.  Jehovah 
says  to  Samuel :  They  have  not  rejected  thee,  but  me ;  yet  Samuel 
accedes  to  the  request  of  the  Israelites.  Samuel  gives  the  elders  a 
terrifying  description  of  the  oppression  which  the  monarchy  would 
exercise  upon  them,  a  description  which  evidently  predates  the  experi- 
ences made  under  David,  Solomon,  and  later  kings,  whereas  at  the 
time  spoken  of  the  nation  had  suffered  only  too  long  from  wild  anarchy. 
The  reasons,  moreover,  given  by  the  elders,  why  they  desired  a  king, 

120  ISRAEL. 

Immediately  after  his  election  on  the  Jordan,  Saul 
was   firmly   resolved    to   take   up   arms   against   the 

do  not  agree  with  the  situation,  but  rather  with  the  time  of  Eli,  who 
also  had  foolish  sons.  In  spite  of  Samuel's  warning  the  people  persist 
in  their  wish  to  have  a  king<  Further  we  are  told  in  chap.  ix.  1 — x. 
16,  how  Saul  at  his  father's  bidding  sets  out  in  quest  of  lost  she-asses, 
and  goes  to  inquire  of  Samuel,  for  the  fourth  part  of  a  silver  shekel, 
whither  they  had  strayed.  At  Jehovah's  command  Samuel  anoints 
the  son  of  Kish  to  be  king,  when  he  comes  to  him ;  he  tells  him 
where  he  will  find  his  asses,  and  imparts  to  him  two  other  prophecies 
on  the  way.  Then  we  are  told  in  chap.  x.  17 — 27  that  Samuel 
summons  an  assembly  of  the  people  to  Mizpeh,  repeats  his  warning 
against  the  monarchy,  but  then  causes  lots  to  be  cast  who  shall  be 
king  over  the  tribes,  and  families,  and  individuals.  The  lot  falls  upon 
Saul,  who  makes  no  mention  to  any  one  of  the  anointing,  but  has 
hidden  himself  among  the  stuff.  Finally,  in  chap.  xi.  we  find  the 
account  given  in  the  text,  to  which,  in  order  to  bring  it  into  harmony 
with  what  has  been  already  related,  these  words  are  prefixed  in  ver.  14  : 
"  And  Samuel  said  to  the  people,  Come,  let  us  go  to  Gilgal  to  renew 
the  kingdom ;  "  but  in  xi.  15  we  find :  "  Then  went  all  the  people  to 
Gilgal,  and  made  Saul  king  before  Jehovah  in  Gilgal."  The  contra- 
dictions are  striking.  The  elders  require  a  king  from  Samuel,  whom 
they  could  choose  themselves  (2  Sam.  ii.  4 ;  v.  3  ;  1  Kings  xii.  1,  20  ; 
2  Kings  xiv.  21),  and  whom,  according  to  1  Sam.  xi.  15,  the  people 
actually  choose.  Jehovah  will  not  have  a  king,  but  then  permits  it. 
Nor  is  this  permission  all ;  he  himself  points  out  to  Samuel  the  man 
whom  he  is  to  anoint.  Anointed  to  be  king,  Saul  goes,  as  if  nothing 
had  taken  place,  to  his  home.  He  comes  to  the  assembly  at  Mizpeh, 
and  again  says  nothing  to  any  one  of  his  new  dignity.  Already  king 
by  anointment,  he  is  now  again  made  king  by  the  casting  of  lots.  He 
returns  home  to  till  his  field,  when  the  messengers  from  Jabesh  were 
sent  not  to  the  king  of  Israel,  but  to  the  people  of  Israel,  to  ask  for 
help.  In  Gibeah  also  they  do  not  apply  to  the  king ;  not  till  he  sees 
the  people  weeping  in  Gibeah,  does  Saul  learn  the  message.  Yet  he 
does  not  summon  the  people  to  follow  him  as  king ;  he  requests  the 
following  just  as  in  earlier  times  individuals  in  extraordinary  cases 
sought  to  rouse  the  people  to  take  up  arms.  It  is  impossible  that  a 
king  should  be  chosen  by  lot  at  a  time  when  the  bravest  warrior  was 
needed  at  the  head,  and  simple  boys,  who  hid  themselves  among  the 
stuff,  were  not  suited  to  lead  the  army  at  such  a  dangerous  time.  At 
the  time  of  Saul's  very  first  achievements  his  son  Jonathan  stands  at 
his  side  as  a  warrior ;  at  his  death  his  youngest  son  Ishbosheth  was 
40  years  of  age  (2  Sam.  ii.  10).  Saul  must  therefore  have  been  between 
40  and  50  years  old  when  he  became  king.  The  request  of  the  elders 
for  a  king,  and  Samuel's  resistance,  belong  on  the  other  hand  to  the 
prophetic  narrator  of  the  books  of  Samuel,  in  whose  account  it  was 
followed  by  the  assembly  at  Mizpeh  and  the  casting  of  lots.  The  same 


Philistines  for  the  liberation  of  the  land.  He  turned 
upon  their  camp  in  the  district  of  his  own  tribe. 
While  he  lay  opposite  the  fortifications  at  Michmash, 
and  thus  held  the  garrison  fast,  his  son  Jonathan  suc- 
ceeded in  conquering  the  detachment  of  the  Philistines 
stationed  at  Geba.  But  the  princes  of  the  Philistines 
had  no  mind  to  look  on  at  the  union  of  Israel.  They 
assembled,  as  we  are  told,  an  army  of  3000  chariots, 
6000  cavalry,  and  foot  soldiers  beyond  number ;  with 
these  the  tribes  of  Judah  and  Simeon  were  compelled 
to  take  the  field  against  their  brethren.1  Whether  the 
numbers  are  correct  or  incorrect,  the  armament  of  the 
Philistines  was  sufficient  to  cause  the  courage  of  the 
Israelites  to  sink.  Saul  summoned  the  Israelites  to 
the  Jordan,  to  Grilgal,  where  he  had  been  raised  to  be 
their  chief.  But  in  vain  he  caused  the  trumpets  to  be 
blown  and  the  people  to  be  summoned.  The  Israelites 
crept  into  the  caves  and  clefts  of  the  rock,  and  thorn- 
narrator  attempts  to  bring  the  achievement  at  Jabesh,  and  the  recogni- 
tion of  Saul  as  ruler  and  king  which  followed  it,  into  harmony  with  his 
narrative  by  the  addition  of  the  restoration  of  the  kingdom  and  some 
other  interpolations.  The  Philistines  would  hardly  have  permitted 
minute  preparations  and  prescribed  assemblies  for  the  election  of  king. 
The  simple  elevation  and  recognition  of  Saul  as  king  after  his  first  suc- 
cessful exploit  in  war  corresponds  to  the  situation  of  affairs  (cf.  1  xii. 
12).  And  I  am  the  more  decided  in  holding  this  account  to  be  historically 
correct,  because  it  does  not  presuppose  the  other  accounts,  and  because 
the  men  of  Jabesh,  according  to  the  older  account,  fetched  the  bodies  of 
Saul  and  his  sons  to  Jabesh  from  Beth-shan  and  burned  them  there, 
1  Sam.  xxxi.  12,  13.  The  older  account  in  the  books  of  Samuel  knows 
nothing  of  the  request  of  the  elders  for  a  king.  After  the  defeat  which 
caused  Eli's  death,  it  narrates  the  carrying  back  of  the  ark  by  the 
Philistines,  and  the  setting  up  of  it  at  Beth-shemesh  and  Kirjath- 
jearim.  Then  follows  Saul's  anointing  by  Samuel  (ix.  1 — 10,  16) ;  then 
the  lost  statement  about  the  age  of  Saul  when  he  became  king,  and 
the  length  of  the  reign ;  then  the  great  exploits  of  Saul  against  the 
Philistines  (xiii.  1 — 14,  46) ;  xiii.  8 — 13  stands  in  precise  relation 
to  x.  8.  That  the  achievement  of  Jabesh  cannot  have  been  wanting 
in  the  older  account  follows  from  the  express  reference  to  it  at  the 
death  of  Saul. 

1  1  Sam.  xiii.  3—7 ;  xiv.  22. 

122  ISRAEL. 

hushes,  into  the  towers  and  the  cisterns,  and  fled 
beyond  Jordan  to  find  refuge  in  the  land  of  Gilead. 
Only  the  king  and  his  brave  son  Jonathan  did  not 
quail  before  the  numbers  or  gallantry  of  the  enemies, 
though  only  a  small  troop — it  is  said  about  600  men — • 
gathered  round  Saul.  The  great  army  of  the  Philistines 
had  first  marched  to  the  fortified  camp  at  Michmasb, 
and  from  this  point,  after  leaving  a  garrison  behind,  in 
which  were  the  Israelites  of  Judah  and  Simeon,  it 
separated  into  three  divisions,  in  order  to  march, 
through  Israel  in  all  directions  and  hold  the  country 
in  subjection.  One  column  marched  to  the  west  in 
the  direction  of  Beth-horon,  the  second  to  the  north 
towards  Ophra,  the  third  to  the  east  towards  the 
valley  of  Zeboim.1  This  division  made  it  possible  for 
Saul  to  attack.  He  turned  upon  that  part  of  the  army 
which  was  weakest  and  most  insecure,  the  garrison  at 
Michmash,  and  made  an  unexpected  attack  on  the 
fortification.  Jonathan  ascended  an  eminence  in  the 
rear,  while  Saul  attacked  in  the  van.  In  the  tumult 
of  the  attack  the  Hebrews  in  the  camp  of  the  Philis- 
tines joined  the  side  of  their  countrymen,  and  Saul 
gained  the  fortification.  The  Philistines  fled.  The 
king  knew  what  was  at  stake  and  strove  to  push  the 
victory  thus  gained  to  the  utmost.2  Without  resting, 
he  urged  his  men  to  the  pursuit  of  the  fugitives. 
That  none  of  his  troop  might  halt  or  stray  in  order  to 
take  food,  he  said,  "  Cursed  is  the  man  who  eats  bread 
till  the  evening,  till  I  have  taken  vengeance  on  mine 
enemies."  Jonathan  had  not  heard  the  command  of 
his  father,  and  as  the  pursuers  passed  through  a  wood 
in  which  wild  honey  lay  scattered  he  ate  a  little  of 
the  honeycomb.  For  this  he  should  have  been  put  to 
death,  because  he  was  dedicated  to  Jehovah  (I.  499). 

1  1  Sam.  xiii.  16—18.  2  1  Sam.  xiv.  1—23. 


But  the  warriors  were  milder  than  their  customs. 
"  Shall  Jonathan,  die,"  cried  the  soldiers,  "  who  has 
won  this  great  victory  in  Israel  ?  that  be  far  from  us  : 
as  Jehovah  liveth,  not  a  hair  of  his  head  shall  fall  to 
the  ground,  for  he  has  wrought  vfiih  God  this  day  ;  " 
"and  the  people  rescued  Jonathan  that  he  died  not."1 

This  success  encouraged  the  Israelites  to  come  forth 
from,  their  hiding-places  and  gather  round  their  king. 
But  only  a  part  of  the  hostile  army  was  defeated,  and 
the  Philistines  were  not  so  easily  to  be  deprived  of 
the  sovereignty  over  Israel.  "And  the  strife  was  hot 
against  the  Philistines  so  long  as  Saul  lived,"  and 
"  king  Saul  was  brave  and  delivered  Israel  from  the 
hand  of  the  robbers,"  is  the  older  of  the  two  statements 
preserved  in  the  Books  of  Samuel. 

Saul  had  rendered  the  service  which  was  expected 
by  the  Israelites  when  they  elevated  him  :  he  had 
saved  his  nation  from  the  deepest  distress,  from  the 
brink  of  the  most  certain  destruction.  Without  him 
the  tribes  beyond  the  Jordan  would  have  succumbed  to 
the  Ammonites  and  Moabites,  and  those  on  this  side  of 
the  river  would  at  length  have  become  obedient  sub- 
jects of  the  Philistines.  He  found  on  his  accession  a 
disarmed,  discouraged  nation.  By  his  own  example 
he  knew  how  to  restore  to  them  courage  and  self-con- 
fidence, and  educate  them  into  a  nation  familiar  with 
war  and  skilled  in  it.  The  old  military  virtues  of 
the  tribe  of  Benjamin  (p.  96)  found  in  Saul  their  full 
expression  and  had  a  most  beneficial  result  for  Israel. 
The  close  community  in  which  from  old  time  the  small 
tribe  of  Benjamin  had  been  with  the  large  tribe  of 
Ephraim,  by  the  side  of  which  it  had  settled,  was  an 
advantage  to  Saul.2  The  strong  position  which  he  gained 

1  So  the  older  account,  1  Sam.  xiv.  24 — 45. 

2  Numbers  ii.  18—24 ;  Joshua  xviii.  12—20 ;   Judges  v.  14.    That 

124  ISRAEL. 

by  the  recognition  of  these  two  tribes  could  not  but 
have  an  effect  on  the  others,  and  contribute  with  the 
importance  of  his  achievements  and  the  splendour  of 
their  results  to  gain  firmness  and  respect  for  the  young 
monarchy,  and  win  obedience  for  his  commands.  In 
the  ceaseless  battles  which  he  had  to  carry  on  he  was 
mainly  supported  by  his  eldest  son  Jonathan,  who 
stood  beside  him  as  a  faithful  brother  in  arms,  and  his 
cousin  Abner,  the  son  of  Ner  his  father's  brother,  whom 
he  made  his  chief  captain.  "And  wherever  Saul  saw  a 
mighty  man  and  a  brave  he  took  him  to  himself." 
Thus  he  formed  around  him  a  school  of  brave  warriors. 
He  appears  to  have  kept  3000  warriors  under  arms  in 
the  district  of  Benjamin,  and  this  formed  the  centre 
for  the  levy  of  the  people.2 

But  the  Israelites  had  not  merely  to  thank  the  king 
they  had  set  up  for  the  recovery  and  vigorous  defence 
of  their  independence  and  their  territory ;  he  was  also 
a  zealous  servant  of  Jehovah.  He  offered  sacrifice  to 
Him,  built  altars,  and  inquired  of  Him  by  His  priests, 
who  accompanied  him  even  on  his  campaigns.3  He 
observed  strictly  the  sacred  customs ;  even  after  the 
battle  the  exhausted  soldiers  were  not  allowed  to  eat 
meat  with  blood  in  it.  He  was  prepared  to  allow 
even  his  dearest  son,  whose  life  he  had  unconsciously 
devoted,  to  be  put  to  death.  He  removed  all  magi- 
cians and  wizards  out  of  the  land  with  great  severity.4 
How  earnestly  he  took  up  the  national  and  religious 
opposition  to  the  Canaanites  is  clear  from  his  conduct 
to  the  Hivites  of  Gibeon,  Chephirah,  Beeroth,  and 

Ephraim  remained    true  to   Saul  follows  from  the  recognition  of 
Ishbosheth  after  Saul's  death,  2  Sam.  ii.  9,  10. 

1  1  Sam.  xiv.  52.  2  1  Sam.  xiii.  2. 

3  1  Sam.  xiv.  3,  18,  37 ;  xxviii.  6. 

4  1  Sam.  xxviii.  3,  9. 


Kirjath-jearim,   who   had   once   made  a  league   with 
Joshua,    and    in    consequence   had    been    allowed    to 
remain  among  the  Israelites  (I.  494).     "  Saul  sought 
to  slay  them  in  his  zeal  for  Israel,"  and  the  Gibeonites 
afterwards  maintained  that  Saul  had  sought  to  anni- 
hilate them,  and  his  purpose  was  that  they  should  be 
destroyed  and  exist  no  more  in  all  the  land  of  Israel.1 
The  ark  of  the  covenant,  which  had  fallen  into  the 
hands  of  the  Philistines  at  the  battle  of  Aphek,  was 
brought  back  to  Israel  in  his  reign.     The  possession  of 
it,  so  the  Hebrews  said,  had  brought  no  good  to  the 
Philistines.     They  had  set  it  up  as  a  trophy  of  victory 
in  the  temple  of  Dagon  at  Ashdod.     But  the  image  of 
the  god  had  fallen  to  pieces,  and  only  the  fish-tail  was 
left  standing  (I.  272)  ;  the  people  of  Ashdod  had  been 
attacked  with  boils,  and  their  crops  destroyed  by  mice. 
The  same  occurred  at  Gath,  when  the  ark  was  brought 
there,   and,  in  consequence,  the  city  of  Ekron   had 
refused  to  accept  it.     Then  the  Philistines  had  placed 
the  ark  upon  a  wagon,  and  allowed  the  cows  before  it 
to   draw  it  whither  they  would.      They  drew  it  to 
Beth-shemesh  in  the  tribe  of  Judah.     But  when  the 
people  of  Beth-shemesh  looked  on  the  ark  a  grievous 
mortality  began  among  them,  till  the  men  of  Kirjath- 
jearim  (riot  far  from  Beth-shemesh)  took  away  the  ark, 
and  Abinadab  set  it  up  in  a  house  on  a  hill  in  his  field, 
and  established  his  own  son  Eleazar  as  guardian  and 
priest  (about  1045  B.C.2).    The  Books  of  the  Chronicles 

1  2  Sam.  xxi.  2,  5. 

2  The  ark  was  brought  by  David  from.  Kirjath-jearim  to  Zion.     That 
could  not  take  place  before  the  year  1025  B.C.     Saul's  death  falls,  as 
was  assumed  above,  in  the  year  1033  B.C.     But  the  ark  is  said  to  have 
been  at  Kirjath-jearim  20  years  (1  Sam.  vii.  2  ;  vi.  21),  it  must  there- 
fore have  been  carried  thither  1045  B.C.,  or  a  few  years  later.     The 
stay  among  the  Philistines  must  have  been  more  than  seven  months, 
as  stated  in  1  Sam.  vi.  61  ;  the  stay  at  Beth-shemesh  was  apparently 
only  a  short  one.    The  battle  at  Tabor  and  Eli's  death  cannot,  as  shown 

126  ISRAEL. 

mention  the  gifts  which  Saul  dedicated  to  the  national 

As  king  of  Israel,  Saul  remained  true  to  the  simplicity 
of  his  earlier  life.  Of  splendour,  courts,  ceremonial, 
dignitaries,  and  harem  we  hear  nothing.  If  not  in  the 
field  he  remained  on  his  farm  at  Gibeah,  with  his  wife 
Ahinoam,2  his  four  sons,  and  his  two  daughters.  Abner 
and  other  approved  comrades  in  arms  ate  at  his  table. 
His  elder  daughter  Merab  he  married  to  Adriel  the  son 
of  Barzillai.  Michal,  the  younger,  he  gave  to  a  youthful 
warrior,  David  the  son  of  Jesse,  who  had  distinguished 
himself  in  the  war  against  the  Philistines,  whom  he  had 
made  his  armour-bearer  and  companion  of  his  table, 
entrusting  him  at  the  same  time  with  the  command 
of  1000  men  of  the  standing  army.3  "What  am  I, 
what  is  the  life  and  the  house  of  my  father  in  Israel, 
that  I  should  become  the  son-in-law  of  the  king  ?  I  am 
but  a  poor  and  lowly  man."  So  David  said,  but  Saul 
remained  firm  in  his  purpose. 

Of  Saul's  later  battles  against  the  Philistines  tradi- 
tion has  preserved  only  a  few  fragments,  from  which  it 
is  clear  that  the  war  was  carried  on  upon  the  borders 
by  plundering  incursions,  which  were  interrupted  from 
time  to  time  by  greater  campaigns.4  But  the  prepon- 
derance of  the  Philistine  power  was  broken.  And  Saul 
had  not  only  to  fight  against  these.  "  He  fought  on 
all  sides,"  we  are  told,  "against  all  the  enemies  of 
Israel,  against  Moab,  and  against  the  sons  of  Ammon, 
and  against  Edom,  and  against  the  kings  of  Zobah, 

above,  be  placed  much  later  than  1070  B.C.  According  to  1  Sam.  xiv. 
3 ;  xviii.  19,  the  ark  was  in  Saul's  army  at  the  battle  of  Michmash, 
and  Ahijah  (Ahimelech),  the  great-grandson  of  Eli,  was  its  keeper. 

1  1  Chron.  xxvi.  28. 

2  Only  one  concubine  is  mentioned,  by  whom  Saul  had  two  sons. 

3  1  Sam.  xviii.  3,  17—20,  28;  xxii.  4. 

4  1  Sam.  xvii.,  xviii.,  xxiii.  28. 


and  whithersoever  he  turned  he  was  victorious." l 
When  the  Amalekites  from  their  deserts  on  the  penin- 
sula of  Sinai  invaded  the  south  of  Israel,  and  forced 
their  way  as  far  as  Hebron,  he  defeated  them  there  at 
Maon-Carmel,2  and  pursued  them  over  the  borders  of 
Israel  into  their  own  land  as  far  as  the  desert  of  Sur, 
"  which  lies  before  Egypt/'  and  took  Agag  their  king 
prisoner.  It  was  a  severe  defeat  which  he  inflicted  on 
them.3  "  Saul's  sword  came  not  back  empty,"  and 
"  the  daughters  of  Israel  clothed  themselves  in  purple," 
and  "adorned  their  garments  with  gold"  from  the 
spoil  of  his  victories.4  The  Israelites  felt  what  they 
owed  to  the  monarchy  and  to  Saul.5 

1  1  Sam.  xiv.  47,  48. 

2  1    Sam.  xv.  12.     The  place   near  Hebron  still  bears  the  name 

3  Noldeke,  "  Die  Amalekiter,"  s.  14,  15.  *  2  Sam.  i.  21—24. 

6  This  follows  from  the  fact  that  the  monarchy  remains  even  after 
Saul's  death,  from  the  lamentation  of  the  Israelites  for  Saul,  and  their 
allegiance  to  his  son  Ishbosheth. 



THE  position  which  Samuel  gained  as  a  priest,  seer, 
and  judge  after  the  death  of  Eli  and  his  sons,  and 
continued  to  hold  under  the  sway  of  the  Philistines 
must  have  undergone  a  marked  change,  owing  to  the 
establishment  of  the  monarchy  in  Israel,  though  in  the 
later  text  of  the  Books  of  Samuel  it  is  maintained  that 
"  Samuel  judged  Israel  till  his  death." l  We  know  that 
Samuel  had  set  up  an  altar  to  Jehovah  at  Ramathaim, 
his  home  and  dwelling-place  (p.  115),  but  it  is  not 
handed  down  that  he  had  again  set  up  there  the  sacred 
tabernacle  and  the  worship  at  the  sacred  ark,  though 
this  may  very  well  have  been  the  case  after  the  Philis- 
tines sent  back  the  ark.  Both  the  older  and  the  later  text 
of  the  two  Books  of  Samuel  represent  him  as  in  opposi- 
tion to  the  monarchy.  According  to  the  later  text, 
written  from  a  prophetic  point  of  view,  Samuel  had  from 
the  first  opposed  the  establishment  of  the  monarchy ; 
and  both  the  older  and  the  more  recent  account  know  of 
a  contention  between  Saul  and  Samuel.  The  former 
tells  us:  When  Saul  immediately  after  his  election  took 
up  arms  against  the  Philistines,  and  these  marched  out 
with  their  whole  fighting  power,  and  Saul  gathered  the 
Israelites  at  Gilgal,  Samuel  bade  the  king  wait  seven 
days  till  he  came  down  to  offer  burnt-offering  and 

1  1  Sam.  vii.  lo. 


thank-offering.  "  And  Saul  waited  seven  days,  but 
Samuel  came  not ;  the  people  were  scattered.  Then 
Saul  said :  Bring  me  the  burnt-offering  and  the  thank- 
offering.  He  offered  the  burnt-sacrifice,  and  when  he 
had  made  an  end  Samuel  came,  and  Saul  went  to  greet 
him.  And  Samuel  said,  What  hast  thou  done?  Saul 
answered,  When  I  saw  that  the  people  were  scattered 
from  me,  and  thou  didst  not  come  at  the  time  ap- 
pointed, and  the  Philistines  were  encamped  at  Mich- 
mash,  I  said,  The  Philistines  will  come  down  upon  me 
to  G-ilgal,  and  I  have  not  made  supplication  to  Jehovah, 
so  I  forced  myself  and  offered  the  burnt-sacrifice.  Then 
Samuel  said,  Thou  hast  done  foolishly;  thou  hast  not 
observed  the  command  of  thy  God  which  he  com- 
manded thee.  Jehovah  would  have  established  thy 
kingdom  over  Israel  for  ever,  but  now  thy  kingdom 
shall  not  endure." l  The  more  recent  account  puts  the 
contention  at  a  far  later  date.  When  Saul  marched 
against  the  Amalekites  Samuel  bade  him  "curse" 
everything  that  belonged  to  Amalek,  man  and  woman, 
child  and  suckling,  ox  and  sheep,  camel  and  ass. 
After  the  return  of  the  victorious  army  Samuel  came 
to  Gilgal,  and  said,  What  meaneth  this  bleating  of 
sheep  and  lowing  of  oxen  in  my  ears  ?  Saul  answered, 
I  have  obeyed  the  voice  of  Jehovah  and  have  gone  the 
way  which  Jehovah  sent  me,  and  I  have  brought  with  me 
Agag  the  king  of  Amalek,  and  have  "  cursed  "  Amalek. 
But  from  the  spoil  the  people  have  taken  the  best  of 
what  was  "  cursed,"  in  order  to  sacrifice  to  Jehovah, 
thy  God,  at  Gilgal.  Samuel  answered  in  the  tone  of 
Isaiah,  Hath  Jehovah  delight  in  burnt-offerings  and 
sacrifice  ?  To  obey  is  better  than  sacrifice.  Saul  con- 
fesses that  he  has  sinned  and  transgressed  the  com- 
mand of  Jehovah  and  the  word  of  Samuel,  "for  I 

1  1  Sam.  x.  8  ;  xiii.  8—15. 
VOL.  II.  K 

130  ISRAEL. 

feared  the  people,  and  obeyed  their  voice.  And  now 
forgive  me  my  dn,  and  turn  with  me,  that  I  may 
entreat  Jehovah.  But  Samuel  said,  I  will  not  turn 
back  with  thee ;  because  thou  hast  rejected  the  word 
of  Jehovah  he  will  reject  thee  from  being  king  over 
Israel.  Samuel  turned  to  go,  but  Saul  caught  the  hem 
of  his  garment  and  said,  I  have  sinned,  yet  honour  me 
before  the  elders  of  my  people,  and  before  Israel,  and 
return  with  me,  that  I  may  offer  prayer  before  Jehovah. 
Then  Samuel  turned  behind  Saul,  and  Saul  offered 
prayer  before  Jehovah.  And  Samuel  bade  them  bring 
Agag  the  king  of  Amalek  before  him,  and  said,  As  thy 
sword  has  made  women  childless,  so  shall  thy  mother 
be  childless  among  women ;  and  he  hewed  Agag  in 
pieces  before  Jehovah  at  Gilgal.  And  Samuel  went 
up  to  Ramathaim  and  saw  Saul  no  more." l  In  the 
narrative  of  the  first  text  Saul  appears  to  be  thoroughly 
justified  by  the  most  urgent  necessity;  in  the  narrative 
of  the  second  text  he  acknowledges  openly  and  com- 
pletely that  he  has  sinned.  It  may  have  been  the 
case  that  Saul  did  not  appear  to  Samuel  sufficiently 
submissive  to  his  utterances,  which  for  him  were  the 
utterances  of  God ;  that  he  wished  to  see  the  rights  and 
power  of  a  king  exercised  in  a  different  manner  and  in 
a  different  feeling  from  that  in  which  Saul  discharged 
his  office. 

More  dangerous  for  Saul  than  any  reproach  or  cold- 
ness on  the  part  of  Samuel  was  the  contention  which 
he  had  in  the  latter  years  of  his  reign  with  another  man, 
whom  he  had  himself  raised  to  eminence — a  strife 
which  cost  Saul  the  reward  of  his  laborious  and  brave 
reign,  and  his  house  the  throne ;  while  Israel  lost  the 
fruits  of  great  efforts,  and  the  fortunes  of  the  people 
were  again  put  to  the  hazard. 

1  1  Sam.  xv. 


Of  the  family  of  Perez l  of  the  tribe  of  Judah,  David 
was  the  youngest  (eighth)  son  of  a  man  of  some  posses- 
sions, Jesse  of  Bethlehem.  He  was  entrusted  with  the 
care  and  keeping  of  the  sheep  and  goats  of  his  father 
in  the  desert  pastures  on  the  Dead  Sea,  and  his  shep- 
herd life  had  caused  him  to  grow  up  in  a  rough  school. 
It  had  made  him  hardy,  it  had  given  strength  and 
suppleness  to  his  body ;  he  had  gained  a  delight  in 
adventure  and  unshaken  courage  in  danger.  In  defence 
of  the  flocks  he  had  withstood  bears  and  ventured  into 
conflict  even  with  a  lion.  In  the  loneliness  and  silence 
which  surrounded  him  he  practised  singing  and  play- 
ing ;  the  severe  and  solemn  nature  of  that  region  was 
adapted  to  impress  great  thoughts  on  his  mind,  to  give 
force  and  elevation  to  his  spirit.  From  such  a  school 
he  came  into  the  ranks  of  the  warriors  of  Saul ;  the 
bold  deeds  which  even  in  his  youth  he  had  performed 
against  the  Philistines  induced  Saul  to  make  David 
one  of  "the  brave,"  whom  he  took  into  his  house  (about 
1040  B.C.).2  He  also  made  him  one  of  his  captains,3 
and  frequently  sent  him  out  against  the  Philistines  ;  in 
these  inroads  he  fought  with  more  success  than  other 


chieftains.4     Thus  David  was  a  favourite  in  the  eyes 

1  Ruth  iv.  18—22. 

2  In  2  Sam.  v.  4,  5  it  is  stated  that  David  when,  he  was  raised  at 
Hebron  to  be  king  of  Judah  was  30  years  old.     This  took  place  1033 
B.C.  (p.  113,  note) ;  David  must  therefore  have  been  born  1063  B.C.,  and 
could  not  have  marched  out  to  battle  before  1043  B.C. 

3  1  Sam.  xviii.  5. 

4  The  tale  of  the  battle  of  David  with  the  giant  Goliath  appears  to 
have  arisen  out  of  a  later  conflict  of  David  when  king  with  a  mighty 
Philistine.    In  2  Sam.  xxi.  18 — 22  we  are  told,  "  And  there  was  again  a 
battle  of  Philistines  at  Gob.     Then  Elhanan,  the  son  of  Jair  Orgim,  a 
Bethlehemite,  slew  Goliath  of  Gath  ;  the  shaft  of  whose  spear  was  as  a 
weaver's  beam."    Shortly  before  it  is  stated :  "  David  and  his  servants 
strove  with  the  Philistines,  and  David  was  weary,  and  Ishbi  thought 
to  slay  David — the  weight  of  his  spear  was  300  shekels ;  then  Abishai 
(the  brother  of  Joab)  aided  the  king,  and  slew  the  Philistine,"  2  Sam. 
xxi.    15 — 17.     From  the  conflict  with  a  giant  which  David  had  to 

K  2 

132  ISRAEL. 

of  the  people  and  the  servants  of  the  king,  and  Jona- 
than, Saul's  eldest  son,  made  a  covenant  with  David, 
because  "  he  loved  him  as  his  own  soul." 3  In  the 
house  of  Saul  David  was  trusted  and  honoured  before 
the  other  warriors  ;  he  was  his  armour-bearer  and  the 
chief  of  a  troop  of  1000  men.  After  Jonathan  and 
Abner,  David  was  nearest  the  king ;  he  had  the  com- 
plete confidence  of  Saul,  and  at  length  became  his 

Some  years  afterwards  (about  1036  B  c.3),  Saul  con- 
ceived a  suspicion  of  the  man  whom  he  had  elevated 
to  such  a  height.  He  imagined  that  his  son-in-law 
intended  to  seize  the  throne  from  himself,  or  contest 
the  succession  with  his  son  Jonathan.  According  to 
the  older  account  it  was  jealousy  of  the  military 
renown  of  David,  which  threatened  to  obscure  his 

undergo  when  king,  and  the  slaughter  of  Goliath  of  Gath  by  Elhanan,  a 
fellow-townsman  of  David's  from  Bethlehem,  the  legend  may  have  arisen 
that  David  himself  slew  a  great  giant.  This  legend  was  then  transferred 
by  the  theocratic  narrative  into  David's  boyhood ;  in  this  way  he  was 
marked  from  the  beginning  as  the  chosen  instrument  of  Jehovah.  The 
statement  in  1  Chron.  xxi.  5  cannot  be  made  to  tell  against  this  view, 
•which  in  order  to  explain  the  contradiction  between  the  First  and 
Second  Books  of  Samuel  explains  the  giant  whom  Elhanan  slew,  the 
shaft  of  whose  spear  was  like  a  weaver's  beam,  to  be  a  brother  of 
Goliath ;  the  less  so  inasmuch  as  the  passage  from  the  Book  of  Samuel 
is  repeated  word  for  word  with  this  addition,  while  the  battle  of  David 
with  Ishbi  is  omitted.  If  David  really  slew  a  distinguished  warrior 
of  Gath  in  Saul's. time,  it  is  the  more  difficult  to  explain  how  he 
could  afterwards  fly  to  the  prince  of  Gath  of  all  others,  and  enter 
into  such  close  relations  with  him.  The  often-mentioned  national 
song,  "  Saul  has  slain  his  thousands  and  David  his  tens  of  thousands," 
is  scarcely  applicable  to  the  slaying  of  a  giant,  however  great  he  might 
be,  and  probably  comes  from  the  time  of  David's  reign  when  he  had 
really  gained  more  brilliant  victories  than  Saul. 

1  1  Sam.  xviii.  3. 

2  1  Sam.  xvi.  22 ;  xviii.  5 ;  xxii.  14. 

3  This  date  may  be  assumed,  if  we  put  the  death  of  Saul  in  the  year 
1033  B.C.  (p.  113),  since  David's  rebellion  in  Judah  lasted  a  considerable 
time,  and  he  afterwards  remained  at  Ziklag  at  least  16  months,   1 
Sam.  xxvii.  7  ;  xxix.  3. 


own,  that  roused  Saul  against  David ; l  according  to 
the  later,  Saul  feared  the  partiality  which  the  people 
displayed  towards  David.  He  says  to  Jonathan,  "  So 
long  as  the  son  of  Jesse  lives,  thou  and  thy  kingdom 
will  not  continue. "!  According  to  the  same  account 
an  evil  spirit  came  over  Saul,  he  was  beside  himself  in 
the  house  and  threw  a  spear  at  David,  who  played  the 
harp.3  David  avoided  the  cast :  he  fled  to  Samuel  at 
Eamathaim  into  the  dwellings  of  the  seers,4  and  from 
thence  escaped  to  Achish,  the  prince  of  the  Philistines 
of  Gath.5  [n  the  older  account  also  it  is  an  evil  spirit 
of  Jehovah  which  comes  over  Saul,  and  causes  him  to 
thrust  with  his  spear  at  David  while  he  is  playing  the 
harp.  David  escapes  into  his  house.  At  Saul's  com- 
mand the  house  is  surrounded ;  and  David  is  to  be 
slain  the  next  morning.  But  Michal,  the  daughter  of 
Saul,  David's  wife,  let  him  down  from  a  window,  and 
in  his  place  she  put  the  teraphim,  i.  e.  the  image  of 
the  deity,  into  the  bed,  covered  it  with  a  coverlet,  laid 
the  net  of  goat's  hair  on  the  face,  and  gave  out  that 
David  was  sick.  David  meanwhile  flies  to  Nob  (in  the 
land  of  Benjamin),  where  was  set  up  a  gilded  image  of 
Jehovah,  before  which  a  company  of  priests  served,  and 
at  their  head  Ahimelech,  a  great-grandson  of  Eli,6 
who  had  previously  inquired  of  Jehovah  for  David.7 
Ahimelech  gave  David  the  sacred  loaves,  and  a  sword 
which  was  consecrated  there,  and  from  hence,  accord- 
ing to  this  account,  David  escaped  to  Achish.  Saul 
reproached  his  daughter  for  aiding  David,  and  said, 

1  1  Sam.  xviii.  9.  2  1  Sam.  xviii.  16 ;  xx.  31. 

3  1  Sam.  xviii.  11. 

4  As  Najoth,  or  rather  Newajoth,  means  dwellings,  the  habitations  of 
the  prophet's  disciples  must  be  meant. 

5  1  Sam.  xix.  18—24;  xxi.  11—15. 

6  1  Sam.  xxii.  9.  r  1  Sam.  xiv.  3. 

134  ISRAEL. 

"  Why   hast   thou   allowed   my   enemy   to    escape  ? " 
Then  he  gave  her  to  wife  to  Phalti  of  Gallim. 

We  are  not  in  a  position  to  decide  whether  David 
really  pursued  ambitious  designs;  whether,  as  a  matter 
of  fact,  he  conspired  with  the  priests  against  Saul  and 
his  house,  as  Saul  assumed ;  whether  Saul  saw  through 
his  designs  and  plots,  or  suspected  him  without  reason.1 

1  The  older  text,  1,  xxvi.  19,  represents  David  as  saying  to  Saul: 
"  If  Jehovah  hath  stirred  thee  against  me,  let  him  accept  an  offering, 
but  if  men,  cursed  be  they  before  Jehovah."  In  the  Books  of  Samuel 
the  relations  of  Saul  and  David  are  strangely  confused,  for  reasons 
which  are  not  far  to  seek.  The  older  account  of  the  priests  and  the 
later  one  of  the  prophets,  which  are  mixed  together  in  these  books, 
had  equally  reason  to  place  in  as  favourable  a  light  as  possible  the 
founder  of  the  power  of  Israel,  of  the  united  worship,  the  minstrel  of 
the  psalms,  the  progenitor  of  the  kings  of  Judah,  and  to  put  him  in 
the  right  as  against  Saul  and  the  house  of  Saul.  To  the  older  narrative 
belongs  the  description  of  David's  shepherd  life,  his  battle  with  the  giant, 
his  rise  as  a  warrior, — the  intention  is  to  show  that  Jehovah  is  strong 
in  the  weak.  The  shepherd-boy  conies  into  the  camp  in  order  to  bring 
bread  to  his  brethren  and  cheese  to  the  captain.  His  brethren  are  angry 
that  he  has  left  the  sheep,  and  wish  to  send  him  back,  but  he  will  fight 
with  the  giant  who  has  defied  the  army  of  the  living  God.  Saul 
dissuades  him  from  the  contest,  but  David  persists,  refuses  armour,  and 
goes  forth  in-trust  on  Jehovah,  who  gives  not  the  victory  by  spear  and 
shield.  By  this  victory  ho  is  marked  as  the  chosen  instrument  of 
Jehovah.  In  both  accounts  Saul  loses  the  favour  of  Jehovah  by 
disobedience  to  Samuel.  According  to  the  later  text,  Samuel,  when  he 
had  broken  with  Saul  owing  to  the  incomplete  "  cursing"  of  Amalek, 
took  the  horn  of  oil  and  anointed  the  youngest  son  of  Jesse,  who  was 
fetched  from  the  sheep,  king  over  Israel  amid  his  brethren.  "When 
this  had  been  done  Saul's  servants  bring  David  as  a  brave  hero  and 
warrior,  "prudent  in  speech,  a  comely  person,  cunning  in  playing," 
1  Sam.  xvi.  Yet  Samuel  had  no  right  to  place  kings  over  the  Israelites, 
and  if  he  went  so  far  in  his  opposition  to  Saul,  he  made  himself  responsi- 
ble for  the  rebellion ;  if  he  really  intended  this,  he  would  have  set  up 
some  other  than  a  shepherd-boy  against  Saul.  If,  on  the  other  hand, 
David  was  really  anointed,  Saul  was  quite  justified  in  pursuing  him. 
Yet  it  was  with  this  anointment,  as  with  that  of  Saul ;  no  one  knew 
anything  of  it,  and  David  himself  makes  no  use  of  this  divine  election, 
not  even  when  he  organises  the  rebellion  in  Judah,  nor  after  Saul's 
death  at  Hebron,  nor  in  the  struggle  against  Ishbosheth,  who  was  not 
in  any  case  anointed,  nor  even  after  the  death  of  Ishbosheth :  he  is 
after  this  chosen  by  the  people  in  Hebron  and  anointed  king  over 


David  was  not  content  with  escaping  the  anger  and 
pursuit  of  Saul,  with  placing  himself  and  his  family  in 
security.  He  repaired  to  the  enemies  of  his  land, 

Israel.  It  is  only  the  Philistines  in  Gath  who  know  anything  of 
David's  royal  dignity,  when  he  comes  to  them  for  the  first  time,  1  Sam. 
xxi.  11.  "We  see  plainly  that  this  anointment  is  a  careless  interpolation 
of  the  prophetic  revision,  to  which  the  verses  11 — 15  of  the  chapter 
quoted  undoubtedly  belong,  just  as  chap.  xvi.  is  intended  to  legitimise 
David.  The  same  account  represents  Saul  as  thrusting  twice  with  his 
javelin  at  David,  xviii.  10,  11,  on  the  very  day  after  he  has  slain  the 
giant.  As  though  nothing  had  happened,  David  continues  in  the  house 
of  Saul,  and  Saul  confers  on  him  still  greater  honours  and  dignities. 
In  the  older  as  well  as  in  the  later  account  this  is  turned  round  so  as 
to  seem  that  Saul  gave  these  to  David  as  a  "  snare,"  that  David  might 
fall  by  the  hands  of  the  Philistines,  xviii.  17,  25;  and  with  this  view 
Saul  requires  100  foreskins  of  the  Philistines  as  the  price  of  Michal. 
It  is  obvious  that  Saul  had  other  means,  more  certain  to  accomplish 
his  object,  at  his  command  to  destroy  David,  if  he  really  intended  it ; 
according  to  the  older  account  Saul  requests  Jonathan  and  his  men, 
though  in  vain,  to  slay  David,  xix.  1.  When  the  attempt  at  assassina- 
tion and  the  open  breach  has  taken  place  in  both  narratives,  Saul, 
according  to  the  prophetic  account,  marvels  nevertheless  that  David 
does  not  come  to  table,  xx.  26,  27.  To  this  text  also  belongs  the  further 
statement  that  when  Jonathan  excused  David,  Saul  thrust  at  him  also 
with  his  spear,  xx.  33.  In  the  older  account  Ahimelech,  who  had  aided 
David  in  his  flight,  makes  the  excuse  that  he  knew  not  that  David  fled 
before  the  king.  "  David  was  the  most  honoured  among  the  friends 
of  Saul :  "  no  one  therefore  knew  anything  of  these  plots  and  attempts 
of  Saul  upon  David.  Every  one  sees  that  this  is  impossible.  Jonathan 
knows  David  better  than  Saul,  and  always  defends  him  against  his 
father  ;  then  David  himself  calls  on  Jonathan  to  kill  him  if  there  is  any 
wickedness  in  him,  1,  xx.  8.  The  story  of  the  arrows  is  very  poetical, 
but  the  sign  is  quite  unnecessary,  since  they  afterwards  converse  with 
each  other,  1,  xx.  18 — 43.  In  the  older  account  also  of  the  occurrence 
in  the  desert  by  the  Dead  Sea,  the  prophetic  account  has  inserted  a 
visit  of  Jonathan  to  David.  Jonathan  strengthens  David's  courage 
although  he  is  in  rebellion  against  his  father.  "  Fear  not,"  Jonathan 
says  to  him,  "  the  hand  of  niy  father  will  not  reach  thce,  thou  shalt 
be  king  over  Israel,"  xxiii.  15 — 18.  Saul  was  something  different 
from  the  madman  who  betwixt  sane  intervals  and  reconciliations  is 
constantly  making  fresh  attacks  on  David's  life,  whether  innocent  or 
guilty.  Even  the  most  complete  recognition  of  all  that  David  estab- 
lished at  a  later  time  for  Israel,  and  with  an  influence  extending  far 
beyond  Israel,  does  not  make  it  a  duty  to  overlook  the  way  in  which 
he  rose  to  his  eminence. 

136  ISRAEL. 

the  Philistines,  who  would  riot  have  accepted  at  ODCC 
an  opponent  who  had  done  them  grievous  injury,  if 
he  had  not  openly  broken  with  Saul  and  given  them 
to  suppose  that  henceforth  he  would  support  their 
struggle  against  Saul  and  Israel.  Yet  David  did  not 
bring  his  father  and  mother,  on  whom  Saul  could  have 
taken  vengeance,  out  of  the  land  to  Gath,  where  they 
might  have  been  a  pledge  of  his  fidelity  to  the  Philis- 
tines ;  he  put  them  in  the  hands  of  the  king  of  Moab, 
and  also  entered  into  relations  with  the  king  of  the 
Ammonites.1  It  was  probably  with  the  consent  of  the 
Philistines  that  David  returned  from  Gath  into  the  land 
of  Judah,  and  there  threw  himself  into  the  wild  regions 
by  the  Dead  Sea,  where  he  had  previously  pastured  his 
father's  sheep  and  goats,  in  order  to  bring  his  own  tribe 
of  Judah  into  arms  against  the  king  sprung  from  the 
small  tribe  of  Benjamin.2  The  cave  of  Adullam  was  the 
place  of  gathering.  His  brothers,  the  whole  house  of  his 
father,  came,  and  a  prophet  of  the  name  of  Gad,  "  and 
all  oppressed  persons,  and  any  one  who  had  a  creditor 
and  was  of  a  discontented  spirit,"  and  "  David  was  their 
chief,  and  had  under  him  400  men." 3 

"  Saul  heard  that  all  men  knew  about  David  and 
the  men  who  were  with  him,  and  sent  out  to  bring 
before  him  Ahimelech  and  the  house  of  his  father 
and  all  the  priests  of  Nob."  The  king  sat  on  the 
height  near  Gibeah  under  the  tamarisk,  with  his  spear 
in  his  hand  and  his  servants  round  him.  "  Why  hast 
thou  conspired  against  me,"  he  said  to  Ahimelech, 
•''  thou  and  the  son  of  Jesse,  that  he  has  rebelled  against 
me.  Thou  shalt  die,  and  the  house  of  thy  father." 

1  1  Sam.  xxii.  3  ;  2,  x.  1. 

2  In  1  Sam.  xxix.  3,  Achish  says  of  David,   "  He  has  now  been 
•with  me  for  years." 

3  So  the  older  account,  1  Sam.  xxii.  1 — 5. 


And  he  commanded  his  body-guard  who  stood  near 
him  :  "  Come  up  and  slay  the  priests  of  Jehovah,  their 
hand  is  with  David/'  Then  85  men  were  slain  who 
wore  the  linen  tunic ;  and  Nob,  the  city  of  the  priests, 
Saul  smote  with  the  edge  of  the  sword  ;  one  only, 
Abiathar,  a  son  of  Ahimelech,  escaped  with  the  image 
of  Jehovah  to  David.1 

David  had  no  doubt  calculated  on  greater  success  in 
the  tribe  of  Judah.  So  long  as  his  following  was 
confined  to  four  or  six  hundred  men,  he  could  only 
live  a  robber  life  with  this  troop.  But  by  this  course 
he  would  have  roused  against  himself  those  whom  he 
robbed,  and  strengthened  the  attachment  to  Saul.  So 
he  attempted  to  keep  a  middle  path.  He  sent  to 
Naba],  a  rich  man  at  Carmel  near  Hebron  (p.  127),  who 
possessed  3000  sheep  and  1000  goats,  a  descendant  of 
that  Caleb  who  had  once  founded  himself  a  kingdom 
here  with  his  sword  (I.  505),  and  bade  his  messengers 
say :  David  has  taken  nothing  of  thy  flocks,  send  him 
therefore  food  for  him  and  his  people.  But  Nabal 
answered  :  "Who  is  David,  and  who  is  the  son  of  Jesse? 
There  are  now  many  servants  who  run  away  from 
their  masters."  Then  David  set  out  in  the  night  to 
fall  upon  Nabal's  house  and  flocks.  On  the  way 
Abigail,  Nabal's  wife,  met  him.  In  fear  of  the  free- 
booters she  had  caused  some  slaughtered  sheep,  loaves, 
and  pitchers  of  wine,  some  figs  and  cakes  of  raisins,  to 

1  So  the  older  story,  1  Sam.  xxii.  The  priestly  point  of  view  from 
which  it  is  written  causes  it,  in  order  to  prove  the  innocence  of  the 
priests,  to  represent  David  as  saying  on  his  flight  to  Ahimelech  that  he 
had  a  hasty  mission  from  the  king,  so  that  Ahimelech  can  explain  to 
Saul  that  he  knew  nothing  about  the  flight.  From  the  same  point 
of  view  we  must  derive  the  statement  that  the  body-guard  hesitated  to 
lay  hands  on  the  holy  men,  and  that  an  Edomite  slew  them.  That 
the  punishment  of  Nob  took  place  long  after  David's  flight  and 
rebellion,  is  clear  from  the  fact  that  the  fugitive  Abiathar  finds  David 
already  in  possession  of  Kegilah,  1  Sam.  xxii.  20 ;  xxiii.  6,  7. 

138  ISRAEL. 

be  laid  on  asses  in  order  to  bring  them  secretly  into 
David's  camp.  Praised  be  thy  wisdom,  woman,  said 
David  :  by  the  life  of  Jehovah,  if  thou  hadst  not  met 
me  there  would  not  have  been  alive  at  break  of  day 
a  single  male  of  Nabal  and  his  house.  Nabal  died  ten 
days  after  this  incident.  David  saw  that  such  a  wealthy 
possession  in  this  region  could  not  but  be  advantage- 
ous. Saul's  daughter  was  lost  to  him ;  he  sent,  there- 
fore, some  servants  to  Abigail  to  CarmeL  They  said, 
David  has  sent  us  to  thee  to  take  thee  to  him  to  wife. 
Abigail  stood  up,  bowed  herself  with  her  face  to  earth, 
and  said  :  Behold,  thy  handmaid  is  ready  to  wash  the 
feet  of  the  servants  of  thy  master.  Then  she  set  out 
with  five  of  her  maids,  and  followed  the  servants  of 
David  and  became  his  wife.1  As  a  fact  this  marriage 
appears  to  have  furthered  the  undertaking  of  David ; 
the  places  in  the  south  of  Judah,  Aroer,  Hormah, 
Ramoth,  Jattir,  Eshtemod,  and  even  Hebron,  declared 
for  him.2  From  this  point  David  sought  to  force  his 
way  farther  to  the  north,  and  possessed  himself  of  the 
fortified  town  of  Kegilah  (Keilah).3 

When  Saul  was  told  that  David  was  in  Kegilah,  he 
said :  God  has  delivered  him  into  my  hand  in  that 
he  has  shut  himself  up  in  a  city  with  gates  and  bars. 

1  1  Sam.  xxv.  2—12,  18—42. 

2  1  Sam.  xxx.  26—31. 

3  That  David  saved  and  won  Kegilah  from  the  Philistines,  and 
obtained  a  great  victory  over  them,  as  we  find  it  in  the  older  account 
(1  Sam.  xxiii.  1 — 5),  is  more  than  improbable.     David  certainly  could 
not  undertake  to  fight  with  Saul  and  the  Philistines  at  one  time  with  600 
men.   How  could  he  meet  an  army  of  the  Philistines  in  the  field,  when 
he  does  not  trust  himself  to  maintain  the  walls  of  Kegilah  against  Saul 
with  his  troop.     The  citizens  of  Kegilah  would  hardly  have   been 
prepared  to  give  him  up,  if  just  before  he  had  done  them  such  a  kind- 
ness.    Finally,  this  battle  contradicts  the  position  in  which  we  find 
David  before  and  afterwards  with  regard  to  the  Philistines.     Achish 
at  any  rate  has  unbounded  confidence  in  David  since  his  desertion, 
and  will  even  make  him  "  keeper  of  his  head,"  1  Sam.  xxviii.  2. 


He  set  out  against  Kegilah.  David  commanded 
Abiathar  the  priest,  who  had  fled  to  him  from  Nob  with 
the  image  of  Jehovah,  to  bring  the  image,  and  David 
inquired  of  the  image :  Will  the  men  of  Kegilah 
deliver  me  and  my  followers  into  the  hand  of  Saul  ? 
Jehovah,  God  of  Israel,  announce  this  to  me.  And 
Jehovah  said,  They  will  deliver  thee.1  Then  David 
despaired  of  remaining  in  the  city  and  fled ;  he  retired 
again  into  the  desert  by  the  Dead  Sea  near  Ziph  and 
Maon.  But  Saul  pursued  and  overtook  him  ;  nothing 
but  a  mountain  separated  David's  troop  from  the  king ; 
David  was  already  surrounded  and  lost,  when  the  news 
was  brought  to  Saul,  "  Hasten  and  come,  for  the 
Philistines  are  in  the  land."  This  was  no  doubt  an 
incursion  made  by  the  Philistines  in  aid  of  the  hardly- 
pressed  rebels.  Saul  abandoned  the  pursuit  and  went 
against  the  Philistines  :  David  called  the  mountain  the 
rock  of  escape.2  When  the  king  had  driven  back  the 
Philistines  he  took  3000  men  out  of  the  army  to  crush 
the  rebellion  utterly.  David  had  retired  farther  to 
the  east,  on  the  shore  of  the  Dead  Sea,  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  Engedi,  to  the  "  rock  of  the  goat,"  and 
there  he  was  so  closely  shut  in  by  Saul  that  he  had 
to  despair  of  remaining  in  Judah.  He  escaped  with 
his  troop  to  the  Philistines  :  the  rebellion,  was  at  an 

1  1  Sam.  xxiii.  9—13.  2  1  Sam.  xxiii.  25—28. 

8  So  the  older  account,  1  Sam.  xxvi.  1,  2  ;  xxvii.  1 — 3.  While 
Saul  has  cast  his  spear  at  David,  and  pursues  him  everywhere 
•with  unwearying  energy  in  order  to  slay  him,  David  gives  him  his 
life.  According  to  the  older  account,  Saul  sleeps  in  his  encampment  in 
the  wilderness  of  Ziph.  David  with  Abishai  secretly  enters  this,  and 
he  distinctly  refuses,  when  urged  by  Abishai"  to  slay  Saul,  to  listen 
to  him,  because  Saul  is  an  "  anointed  of  Jehovah,"  takes  the  spear 
and  the  water-bowl  of  the  king,  plants  himself  on  a  mountain  in  the 
distance,  and  from  this  reproaches  Abner  that  he  has  been  so  careless 
in  providing  for  the  safety  of  the  king.  Saul  is  again  touched,  acknow- 

140  ISRAEL. 

David's  attempt  to  induce  the  tribe  of  Judah  to  fall 
away  from  Saul  was  entirely  wrecked.  Driven  from 
the  ground  on  which  he  had  raised  the  standard  of 
revolt,  he  no  longer  scrupled  to  enter  formally  into  the 
service  of  the  Philistines,  and  these  must  have  welcomed 
the  aid  of  a  brave  and  skilful  leader,  who,  though 

'  O 

once  their  enemy,  had  already  in  Judah  engaged  the 
arms  of  Saul,  the  weight  of  which  they  had  so  often 
felt,  and  which  had  taken  from  them  their  dominion 
over  Israel.  Achish,  king  of  Gath,  to  whom  David 
again  fled,  was  of  opinion  "  that  David  had  made 
himself  to  stink  among  his  people,  Israel,  and  would 
be  his  servant  for  ever ; "  and  gave  the  border  city 
Ziklag  to  be  a  dwelling  for  him  and  his  band  of  free- 
booters.1 David  now  settled  as  a  vassal  of  Achish  at 
Ziklag.  At  his  command  he  was  compelled  to  take 
the  field,  and  also  to  deliver  up  a  part  of  the  spoil 
which  he  obtained.2  Thus  from  the  land  of  the  Philis- 

ledges  his  sins  and  follies,  begs  David  to  return,  and  finally  gives  him 
his  blessing  on  his  undertaking.  David  upon  this  declares  that  his  Life 
will  he  regarded  before  Jehovah  as  he  has  regarded  Saul's  life,  and 
escapes  to  the  Philistines.  According  to  the  prophetic  account,  Saul 
"  covers  his  feet "  in  a  cave  in  the  desert  of  Engedi,  in  which  are  con- 
cealed David  and  his  men.  These  urge  David  to  slay  Saul,  but  he 
replies,  "Far  be  it  from  me  to  lay  my  hand  on  the  Lord's  anointed," 
and  merely  cuts  off  the  corner  of  Saul's  upper  garment.  When  Saul 
awakes  and  goes  out  of  the  cave,  David  hurries  after  him,  prostrates 
himself,  and  proves  by  the  piece  in  his  hand  that  those  did  him  wrong 
who  said  that  he  sought  to  do  Saul  mischief,  ' '  but  thou  art  seeking  to 
take  my  life."  Saul  weeps,  acknowledges  that  David  is  more  just  than 
he  is;  may  Jehovah  reward  him  (David)  for  this  day.  "I  know," 
Saul  continues,  "  that  thou  wilt  be  king,  and  the  kingdom  of  Israel 
will  continue  in  thy  hand."  Let  David  only  swear  to  him  not  to 
destroy  his  seed.  This  David  does,  1  Sam.  xxiv.  4—23.  If  this 
event,  in  itself  all  but  impossible,  ever  took  place,  it  must  have  had 
some  consequences  ;  yet  there  is  no  change  in  the  relations  of  Saul  and 
David,  Saul  continues  to  pursue  David.  If  David  took  the  oath  not 
to  destroy  the  descendants  of  Saul,  he  broke  it. 

1  So  the  older  account,  1  Sam.  xxvii.  12. 

2  1  Sam.  xxvii.  6,  12. 


tines,  with  his  band,  which  here  became  strengthened 
by  the  discontented  in  Israel x  who  fled  to  him  over  the 
border,  David  carried  on  a  petty  war  against  Saul  and 
his  country.  In  these  campaigns  David  was  wise 
enough  to  spare  his  former  adherents  in  Judah,  the 
cities  which  had  once  declared  for  him,  and  his  attacks 
were  only  directed  against  the  adherents  of  Saul ;  in 
secret  he  even  maintained  his  connection  with  his  party 
in  Judah,  and  to  the  elders  of  the  cities  which  clung 
to  him  he  sent  presents  out  of  the  booty  won  in  his 
raids  and  plundering  excursions.2 

David  had  already  lived  more  than  a  year  in  Ziklag,3 
when  the  Philistines  assembled  all  their  forces  against 
Saul.  When  the  princes  of  the  Philistines  marshalled 
their  army,  and  caused  it  to  march  past  in  troops, 
David  and  his  men  also  came  among  the  soldiers  of 
Achish.  Then  the  other  princes  said  to  Achish  : 
What  need  of  these  Hebrews  ?  Let  not  David  go  to 
the  battle ;  he  may  become  a  traitor,  and  go  over  to 
his  master,  in  order  to  win  favour  with  Saul  at  the 
price  of  our  heads.  Achish  trusted  David,  and  said  : 
He  has  already  dwelt  with  me  for  a  time,  for  years ; 
to  this  day  I  have  found  nothing  in  him.  But  the 

1  Chron.  xiii.  1—7,  20. 

2  1  Sam.  xxx.  26 — 30  ;  supra,  p.  137.     In  order  to  wash  David  clean 
from  the  reproach  of  fighting  with  the  Philistines  against  his  people, 
it  is  observed  (xxvii.  8 — 11)  that  David  always  marched  against  the 
tribes  of  the  desert,  that  he  cut  down  the  prisoners,  and  then  reported 
to  Achish  that  he  "  had  invaded  the  south  of  Judah."   The  position  of 
Ziklag  was  ill-suited  for  attacks  on  the  desert,  and  Achish  had  not 
given  him  any  commands  to  fight  against  the  children  of  the  desert. 
At  a  later  time  Achish  says  of  David  :  "  Since  his  desertion  I  have 
found  nothing  in  him,"  xxix.  3,  6 ;  he  will  make  him  even  the  protector 
of  his  own  life  (1,  xxviii.  2),  and  such  deceit  as  is  here  attributed  to 
David  presupposes  that  Achish  and  all  the  rest  of  the  Philistines  were 

3  1  Sam.  xxvii.  7,  "one  year  and  four  months:"  xxix.  3,  Achish 
says,  "  He  has  been  with  me — for  years." 

142  ISRAEL. 

other  princes  insisted  on  their  demand  ;  perhaps  they 
remembered  the  day  of  Mich  mash,  when  Saul  had 
obtained  his  first  victory  over  the  Philistines  with  the 
aid  of  the  Hebrews  in  their  camp.  When  Achish 
announced  to  David  that  he  could  not  accompany  the 
army,  he  answered  :  What  have  I  done,  and  what  hast 
thou  found  in  thy  servant  since  I  came  to  thee  to  this 
day,  that  I  should  not  fight  against  the  enemies  of  my 
king  ?  In  spite  of  his  earnest  desire,  David  was  sent 

The  army  of  the  Philistines  passed  to  the  north, 
through  the  land  of  Ephraim,  into  the  land  of  Issachar, 
and  encamped  at  Shunem  in  the  plain  of  Jezreel.  On 
Mount  Gilboa,  over  against  them,  Saul  was  encamped 
with  the  army  of  the  Israelites.2  The  battle  broke 
out,  and  the  contest  was  severe.  Saul  saw  his  sons 

1  According  to  the  older  account,  1  Sam.  xxviii.  2,  when  Achish 
requires  him  to  march  with  him  against  Saul,  David  replies,   "  So 
shalt  thou  behold  what  thy  servant  will  do."     The  narrative  of  the 
sending  back  of  David  at  the  wish  of  the  remaining  princes,  and 
David's  protest  against  it,  belong  also  to  the  older  narrative.     This  is 
repeated  in  Chronicles  (1,  xiii.   19)  very  emphatically,  and  without 
any  motive  in  the  context,   so  that  it  might  be  possible  to  accept 
the  same  view  which  represents  David  as  constantly  marching  against 
the  desert  from  Ziklag.    For  the  moral  estimate  of  David  it  is  sufficient 
that  it  did  not  rest  with  him  to  join  in  the  battle. 

2  The  story  of  the  witch  of  Endor  (xxviii.  3  ff.)  belongs  to  the  later 
account.     To  begin  with,  this  account  contradicts  itself;  we  are  told 
in  the  introduction  (verse  3)  that  Saul  had  removed  the  necromancers 
and  "  wise  men  "  out  of  Israel,  a  statement  which  is  repeated  in  the 
course  of  the  story  (verse  9).     Nevertheless  Saul  causes  a  witch  to  be 
sought  out,  because  when  already  encamped  before  the  Philistines 
"  he  is  in  great  fear  of  the  enemy."  Saul  was  a  brave  warrior,  who  even 
in  a  worse  position  had  never  trembled.      He  sends  for  this  woman  in 
order  to  speak  with  Samuel's  ghost.      If  Saul  had  any  desire  to  see 
ghosts,  he  would  desire  to  see  the  ghost  of  Samuel  least  of  all,  for  he, 
according  to  the  same  prophetic  account,  had  anointed  David  to  be 
king  against  Saul  (verse  11).    Samuel  as  a  ghost  has  thus  a  third  oppor- 
tunity for  reproaching  Saul,  and  telling  him  "  that  Jehovah  had  given 
the  kingdom  to  David,  because  he  had  not  satisfied  his  wrath  on 
Amalek  "  (p.  129). 


Abinadab  and  Melchishua,  and  finally  Jonathan  himself, 
fall ;  the  Israelites  retired,  and  the  archers  of  the 
enemy  pressed  on  the  king.  Saul  refused  to  fly,  and 
survive  the  death  of  his  sous  and  his  first  defeat.  He 
called  to  his  armour-bearer :  Draw  thy  sword  and  slay 
me,  that  these  uncircumcised  may  not  come  upon 
me  and  maltreat  me.  But  the  faithful  comrade  would 
not  lift  his  hand  against  his  master.  Then  Saul  threw 
himself  upon  his  sword,  and  the  armour-bearer  followed 
the  example  of  the  king.  The  army  of  the  Israelites 
was  scattered  in  every  direction.  The  Philistines 
rejoiced  when  they  found  the  corpse  of  Saul  on  Mount 
Gilboa.  They  took  the  armour  from  the  dead  king, 
and  sent  it  round  their  whole  land,  that  every  one 
might  be  convinced  that  the  dreaded  leader  of  Israel 
was  no  longer  living.  Then  the  armour  was  laid  up 
in  the  temple  of  Astarfce.  The  Philistines  cut  off  the 
head  of  the  corpse  and  hung  it  up  as  a  trophy  in  the 
temple  of  Dagon  ;  the  trunk  and  the  corpses  of  the 
three  sons  of  Saul  were  set  up  in  the  market-place  of 
Beth-shan,  not  far  from  the  field  of  battle,  in  order  to 
show  the  Israelites  that  they  had  nothing  more  to 
hope  from  Saul  and  his  race  (1033  B.C.).1 

Israel   was  benumbed  with  terror.     The  nurse  let 
the  young  son  of  Jonathan,  Mephibosheth,  fall  to  the 

1  1  Sam.  xxxi.  1 — 11 ;  1  Chron.  x.  10.  According  to  a  second  account 
of  the  death  of  Saul  in  2  Sam.  i.  ff.,  an  Amalekite  came  unexpectedly  to 
Mount  Gilboa.  He  finds  Saul  in  flight  leaning  on  his  spear,  and  Saul 
says  to  him,  "Slay  me."  The  Amalekite  does  so;  takes  the  crown 
from  the  head  of  the  king,  and  his  bracelets,  and  then  flies  to  Ziklag 
in  the  territory  of  the  Philistines  in  order  to  bring  the  crown  to  David. 
David  causes  him  to  be  slain,  because  "he  had  lifted  up  his  hand 
against  the  anointed  of  the  Lord."  The  object  of  this  story  is  too 
plain — to  bring  the  crown  of  Saul  into  the  hands  of  David  in  order  to 
make  him  the  legitimate  king,  and  at  the  same  time  to  exhibit  David 
as  loyal  to  Saul  even  after  his  death,  and  avenging  his  murder — and 
the  impossibilities  in  it  are  too  great.  David  afterwards  permitted  the 
execution  of  the  remaining  descendants  of  Saul. 

144  ISRAEL. 

ground  when  she  heard  the  news  of  Gilboa.  Many- 
retired  beyond  the  Jordan  before  the  Philistines  ;  others 
hastened  to  Ziklag,  to  place  themselves  under  David's 
protection.  But  from  Jabesh  in  Gilead,  which  Saul  had 
once  rescued  from  the  most  grievous  distress,  valiant 
men  set  out  over  the  Jordan  to  Beth-shan.  Here,  at 
night,  they  took  the  corpses  of  Saul  and  his  three  sons 
from  the  market-place,  brought  them  to  Jabesh,  and 
buried  them  under  the  tamarisk,  and  the  inhabitants 
of  Jabesh  fasted  and  lamented  seven  days  for  Saul's 
death.1  The  Israelites  had  reason  enough  to  sorrow 
and  lament  for  Saul.  From  one  of  the  songs  of 
lamentation  sung  in  these  days  it  is  convincingly  clear 
what  this  man  had  done  for  them.  "  The  gazelle,  O 
Israel,"  so  it  was  sung  at  that  time,  "is  stricken  on 
thy  heights  !  Fallen  are  thy  heroes !  Tell  it  not  in 
Gath,  publish  it  not  in  the  streets  of  Ascalon,  lest  the 
daughter  of  the  Philistine  rejoice,  lest  the  daughter  of 
the  uncircumcised  triumph.  Ye  mountains  of  Gilboa, 
let  there  be  no  dew  nor  rain  upon  you,  nor  offerings 
of  first-fruits  !  For  there  the  shield  of  the  mighty  was 
cast  away,  the  shield  of  Saul.  From  the  blood  of  the 
slain,  from  the  fat  of  the  mighty,  the  bow  of  Jonathan 
turned  not  back,  and  the  sword  of  Saul  returned  not 
empty.  Saul  and  Jonathan  were  lovely  and  pleasant 
in  their  lives,  and  in  their  death  they  were  not  divided. 
They  were  swifter  than  eagles,  stronger  than  lions. 
Ye  daughters  of  Israel,  weep  for  Saul,  who  clothed 
you  delicately  in  purple,  and  put  ornaments  of  gold 
on  your  garments.  How  are  the  mighty  fallen  in 

1  1  Sam.  xxxi.  12,  13;  2,  xxi.  12. 

2  This  lament,  which  was  in  the  book  of  Jasher  (2  Sam.  i.  18),  is 
ascribed  to  David.      His  moral  participation  in  the    issue  of    the 
battle  must  have  been  most  clear  to  himself ;  his  rebellion  and  deser- 
tion to  the  Philistines  had  weakened  Saul's  powers  of  fighting  and 


A  single  stroke  had  annihilated  all  that  had  been 
obtained  in  long  and  toilsome  struggles.  The  Philistines 
were  again  masters  on  this  side  of  Jordan  as  in  the 
unhappy  times  before  Saul.  But  in  spite  of  the  fall 
of  the  hero  who  had  been  the  defence  of  Israel  and 
the  terror  of  the  enemies,  the  monarchy  remained, 
so  firmly  had  Saul  established  it.  Ishbosheth,  the 
youngest  son  of  Saul,  had  escaped  the  battle  ;  with 
Abner,  the  general,  he  had  found  safety  beyond  the 
Jordan.  Here  he  took  up  his  abode  at  Machanaim, 
and  the  tribes  on  the  other  side  of  the  Jordan  recog- 
nised him  as  their  king.  Abner 's  sword  was  a  strong 
support  for  Ishbosheth,  and  the  adherence  of  the 
Israelites  to  Saul's  family  soon  permitted  him  to  force 
his  way  from  Machanaim  over  the  Jordan.  Here, 
also,  amid  the  arms  of  the  Philistines,  Ishbosheth  was 
recognised  as  king.  Thus  Abner's  courage  and  bravery 
succeeded  in  wresting  the  fruits  of  the  victory  at  Gilboa 
from  the  Philistines,  and  liberating  from  their  yoke  first 
Ephraim  and  Benjamin,  and  then  the  whole  region  of 
the  northern  tribes.1 

While  Abner  was  engaged  in  preserving  the  rem- 
nants of  Saul's  dominion  for  his  son,  and  in  driving 
the  Philistines  out  of  the  land,  David  looked  after  his 
own  interests.  The  fresh  terror  of  the  overthrow  at 
Gilboa  had  driven  many  Israelites  to  Ziklag.  David's 
name  stood  high  among  the  warriors  of  Israel,  and  pro- 
tection against  the  Philistines  was  certain  to  be  found 
with  their  vassal.  The  places  in  the  tribe  of  Judah  which 

deprived  him  of  brave  warriors  ;  lie  had  been  ready  to  fight  in  the 
army  of  the  Philistines  against  Saul  and  Jonathan.  Least  of  all  could 
David  sing,  "  Tell  it  not  in  Gath,"  since  he  himself  was  in  the  land  of 
Gath.  The  last  verse,  "  I  am  distressed  for  thee,  my  brother  Jonathan," 
etc.,  may  certainly  have  come  from  David,  and  may  have  been  added  to 
the  lament  at  a  later  time.  Thus  the  whole  might  appear  to  be  the 
work  of  David. 
1  2  Sam.  ii.  8—10. 

VOL.    II.  L 

146  ISRAEL. 

had  formerly  joined  David  now  again  resorted  to  him, 
and  the  tribe  of  Judah  had  previously  been  subject  to 
the  Philistines  longer  than  any  other,  and  was  more 
accustomed  to  their  dominion.  As  the  tradition  tells 
us,  David  inquired  of  Jehovah  whether  he  should  go 
from  Ziklag  into  one  of  the  cities  of  Judah,  and 
Jehovah  answered :  Go  to  Hebron.  This  was  done. 
"And  the  men  of  Judah  there  anointed  David  king 
of  the  house  of  Judah,  for  only  the  house  of  Judah 
adhered  to  David."1  Thus  David,  after  Saul's  death, 
succeeded  in  the  attempt  which  had  failed  in  Saul's 
lifetime ;  he  established  an  independent  monarchy  in 
the  tribe  of  Judah.  Here  he  ruled  at  Hebron  at  first 
quietly,  under  the  protection  of  the  Philistines.2  But 
when  Abner  had  again  wrested  the  north  and  centre 
of  the  land  from  the  hands  of  the  Philistines,  when 
Tshbosheth's  rule  again  united  the  whole  land  as  far 
as  the  tribe  of  Judah,  he  turned  his  arms  not  more 
against  the  Philistines  than  against  their  vassal  at 
Hebron  in  order  to  complete  the  liberation  of  Israel. 

"  The  strife  was  long  between  the  house  of  Saul  and 
the  house  of  David/' — so  runs  the  older  account.3  Of 
the  events  of  this  war  between  Judah  and  the  rest  of 

1  2  Sam.  ii.  1,  3,  4—10. 

2  This  conclusion  must  be  drawn  both  from  the  earlier  relation  to 
the  Philistines,  and  from  the  fact  that  David  during  this  whole  time 
has  not  to  fight  with  the  Philistines,  whereas  afterwards,  as  soon  as  he 
has  united  the  tribes  under  his  rule,  he  has  to  wage  the  fiercest  war 
with  them ;  apparently  he  was  supported  against  Ishbosheth  and  Abner 
by  the  Philistines  in  order  to  put  a  stop  to  Abner's  advances.  Cf.  Ewald, 
"  G-eschichte  des  Volks  Israel,"  2,  572. 

3  David  reigned  seven  years  and  six  months  at  Hebron,  2  Sam.  iii. 
1,  10,  11;  2,  v.  4,  5;  1  Kings  ii.  11.      Ishbosheth's  reign  is  given  at 
two  years  only.     These  two  statements  can   only  be  brought  into 
harmony  by  supposing  that  Ishbosheth  was  not  acknowledged  king  of 
the  northern  tribes  till  five  and  a  half  years  after  Saul's  death,  i.  e. 
Abner  required  this  time  to  drive  the  Philistines  out  of  these  regions, 
or  that  David  was  not  acknowledged  king  of  Israel  till  five  and  a  half 
years  after  the  death  of  Ishbosheth. 


the  tribes,  we  only  know  that  on  a  certain  day  Joab  at 
the  head  of  David's  men,  and  Abner  at  the  head  of  the 
men  of  Ishbosheth,  strove  fiercely  at  the  pool  of  Gibeon, 
and  Joab's  brother  Asahel  was  slain  by  Abner.  For 
several  years  the  war  continued  without  any  decisive 
result,  till  a  division  arose  between  Ishbosheth  and 
Abner  which  gave  David  the  advantage,  and  finally 
placed  him  on  the  throne  of  Saul.  Ishbosheth  appears 
to  have  become  distrustful  of  Abner,  to  whom  he  owed 
everything.  When  Abner  took  Rizpah,  the  concubine 
of  Saul,  to  himself,  Ishbosheth  thought  that  he  intended 
in  this  way  to  establish  a  right  to  the  throne,  in  order  to 
wrest  the  dominion  from  himself,  and  did  not  conceal 
his  anger.1  Then  Abner  turned  from  the  man  he  had 
exalted  and  entered  into  a  secret  negotiation  with  David. 
This  was  received  with  joy  by  David.  Crafty  as  he  was, 
he  first  demanded  that  his  wife  Michal,  the  daughter 
of  Saul,  whom  Saul  after  David's  rebellion  had  married 
to  Phalti,  should  be  sent  back  to  him.  David  had 
found  out  the  attachment  of  the  Israelites  to  the  house 
of  Saul,  and  was  no  doubt  of  opinion  that  nothing 
would  sooner  help  him  to  the  throne  than  the  renewed 
connection  with  Saul's  family  ;  if  none  of  the  descend- 
ants of  Saul  survived  but  this  daughter  he  would  be 
his  legitimate  heir.  Abner  sent  Michal,  and  went 
himself  to  Hebron  in  order  to  arrange  about  the 
transfer  of  the  kingdom.  They  were  agreed ;  Abner 
had  done  his  service.  He  was  already  on  his  way 
home  to  Machanaim,  when  Joab,  the  captain  of  David, 
called  him  back.  He  came,  and  Joab  took  him  aside 
under  the  gate  of  Hebron,  as  though  he  had  something 
to  tell  him  in  secret ;  instead,  he  thrust  his  sword 
through  his  body.  David  asserted  his  innocence  and 
lamented  Abner's  death.  Abner's  body  was  buried 

1  2  Sam.  iii.  7. 

L  2 

148  ISRAEL. 

solemnly  at  Hebron.  David  followed  the  bier  in 
sackcloth,  but  Joab  remained  unpunished.1  He  slew 
Abner  because  the  latter  had  previously  slain  his 
brother  Asahel  at  Gibeon ;  but  this  was  done  in 
honourable  fight,  not  by  assassination. 

When  the  announcement  of  Abner's  death  came  to 
Machanaim  "  Ishbosheth's  hands  were  numbed,  and  all 
Israel  was  troubled."  The  Israelites  lamented  Abner's 
death.  "  Must  Abner  die  as  a  godless  man  dieth  ? "  they 
sang.  "  Thy  hands  were  never  bound,  thy  feet  never 
fettered ;  thou  hast  fallen  as  a  man  falls  before  the 
children  of  iniquity." 2  The  pillar  of  the  kingdom  was 
broken.  Then  two  captains  of  the  army  of  Ishbosheth, 
brothers  of  the  tribe  of  Benjamin,  hoped  to  gain  favour 
with  David.  While  Ishbosheth  was  resting  at  midday 
in  his  chamber  on  his  bed,  they  entered  unobserved 
into  his  house,  cut  off  his  head,  and  brought  it  hastily 
to  Hebron  to  David.  This  murder  carried  David 
quickly  to  his  goal,  but  he  would  not  praise  those  who 
committed  it;  he  caused  them  both  to  be  executed. 

The  throne  of  Saul  was  empty.  David,  the  husband 
of  his  daughter,  was  at  the  head  of  a  not  inconsider- 
able power ;  whom  could  the  tribes  who  had  obeyed 
Ishbosheth  raise  to  the  throne  except  him,  if  an  end 
was  to  be  put  to  the  pernicious  division,  and  the 
people  were  again  to  be  united  under  one  government  ? 
The  elders  of  the  tribes  were  intelligent  enough  to 
value  rightly  this  position  of  affairs.  Hence  the  people 
met  together  at  Hebron ;  in  full  assembly  David  was 
raised  to  be  king  of  Israel,  and  anointed  by  the  elders.3 
Eight  years  had  passed  since  Saul  and  his  three  elder 

1  2  Sam.  iii.  31—39. 

2  This  beautiful  lament  is  also  ascribed  to  David :  David  was  the  singer, 
and,  like  the  Psalms,  other  songs  also  come  from  him.     But  David  could 
not  speak  of  Joab  and  indirectly  of  himself  as  a  "  child  of  iniquity." 

3  2  Sam.  v.  1—3. 


sons  fell  on  Gilboa.  All  was  full  of  joy,  union,  and 
hope  that  better  times  would  come  again  after  the  end 
of  the  long  strife  (1025  B.C.).1 

At  length  David  stood  at  the  goal  which   he  had 
pursued  steadfastly  under  many  changes  of  fortune. 
But  there  were  still  some  male  descendants  of  Saul  in 
existence.     The  Hivites  of  Gibeon  cherished  a  deadly 
hatred  to  the  race  of  Saul,  because  Saul's  hand  had  been 
heavy  upon  them  "  in  his  zeal  for  the  sons  of  Israel." 
David  offered  to  "  avenge  the  wrong  which  Saul  had 
done  to  them."2     They  demanded,  that  as  their  land 
had  borne  no  fruit  for  three  years,  seven  men  of  the  race 
of  Saul  should  be  given  to  them,  that  they  might  "  hang 
them  up  before  Jehovah  at  Gibeah,"  the  dwelling- 
place  of  Saul.     There  were  just  seven  male  descendants 
of  Saul  remaining :    two  sons  by   Rizpah,  his  concu- 
bine, and  five  grandchildren,  whom  Merab,  the  eldest 
daughter  of  Saul,  had  borne  to  Adriel.     These  David 
took  and  "gave  them  into  the  hands  of  the  Gibeon- 
ites,   and  they  hanged  them  up   on  the  hill  before 
Jehovah."      There    was   still   another   descendant   of 
Saul's  remaining,  Mephibosheth,  the  son  of  Jonathan  ; 
but  he  was   only  10  or   12  years  of  age,  and  was, 
moreover,  lame  of  both  feet,  from  the  fall  which  he 
had  suffered  in  the  hands  of  his  nurse.     David  also 
thought  of  the  close  friendship   which  he  had  con- 
tracted in  earlier  days  with  Jonathan ;  he  gave  to 
Mephibosheth   Saul's  land   at  Gibeah,   and  arranged 
that  Saul  and  Jonathan's  bones  should  be  brought  from 
Jabesh  to  Zelah,  near  Gibeah,  and  buried  where  Kish, 
Saul's  father,  lay.     In  the  tribe  of  Benjamin,  to  which 
Saul  belonged,  and  among  those  connected  with  his 
house,  the  acts  of  David  to  the  house  of  Saul  were  not 
forgotten  ;  they  hated  David,  the  "  man  of  blood." 

1  1  Ckron.  xii.  23  ff.  2  2  Sam.  xxi.  3. 



AT  the  cost  of  his  nation,  in  collusion  with  the 
enemies  of  his  land,  and  under  the  protection  of  the 
Philistines,  David  had  paved  the  way  to  dominion 
over  Israel.  He  had  much  to  make  good.  He  had  to 
cause  the  way  which  led  him  to  the  throne  to  be  for- 
gotten, to  heal  the  wounds  which  the  long  contention 
must  have  inflicted  on  his  land,  to  surpass  the  great 
services  which  Saul  had  rendered  to  the  Israelites  by 
yet  greater  services,  by  more  brilliant  exploits,  by  more 
firmly-rooted  institutions. 

A  brave  warrior  even  in  early  years,  David  had  been 
afterwards  tested  and  strengthened  by  adventures  and 
dangers  of  every  kind  ;  he  had  understood  how  to  meet 
or  escape  even  the  most  difficult  situations.  He  had 
the  inclination  and  power  for  great  things,  and  was 
little  scrupulous  in  the  choice  of  the  means  which 
brought  him  most  swiftly  and  completely  to  his  object. 
His  vision  was  clear  and  wide ;  clever,  crafty,  and 
quickly  decided,  he  nevertheless  knew  how  to  wait 
when  the  object  could  not  be  obtained  at  the  moment. 
It  was  his  in  an  extraordinary  measure  to  retain  old 
comrades,  to  win  new  ones  and  attach  them  to  himself. 
It  was  not  his  intention  to  be  at  the  beck  of  the 
Philistines  longer  than  he  had  need  of  them ;  with 
his  elevation  at  Hebron  came  the  moment  for  breaking 


with  them.  He  saw  that  they  would  not  lose  without 
a  heavy  price  the  preponderance  in  which  his  rebellion 
against  Saul,  his  leadership  in  Judah,  his  struggle 
against  Ishbosheth  had  again  placed  them ;  that  their 
exasperation  would  be  the  deeper  and  more  lasting 
because  he  had  deceived  the  hopes  which  they  had 
placed  in  him. 

He  began  his  reign  with  an  undertaking  which 
shows  the  certainty  and  width  of  his  views.  His 
dominion  over  the  tribes  of  Simeon  and  Judah  had 
been  established  for  almost  eight  years,  but  over 
the  northern  tribes  it  was  recent,  and  had  to  be  con- 
firmed. The  remembrance  of  Saul  was  cherished  most 
warmly  in  the  tribe  of  Benjamin,  which  lay  next 
to  Judah  on  the  north.  In  this  land,  not  far  from 
the  northern  border  of  Judah,  was  a  city  of  the  name 
of  Jebus,  inhabited  by  the  Jebusites,  a  relic  of  the  old 
population  which  at  the  time  of  the  settlement  the 
Benjaminites  had  not  been  able  to  overcome.1  The 
city  stood  on  steep  heights,  surrounded  by  deep  gorges, 
which  formed  natural  trenches  ;  the  walls  of  the  eastern 
height  on  which  the  citadel  stood,  Mount  Zion,  were 
so  strong  that  the  Jebusites  are  said  to  have  boasted 
that  the  blind  and  lame  were  sufficient  to  defend  them. 
This  city  appeared  to  David  excellently  situated  for 
protection  against  the  Philistines  and  for  his  own 
royal  abode ;  it  had  the  faithful  tribes  of  Judah  and 
Simeon  to  the  south,  and  was  pushed  forward  like  a 
fortification  into  the  territory  of  Benjamin  and  the 
northern  tribes.  Nor  was  it  useful  only  in  establish- 
ing his  dominion  over  Israel.  Even  in  Saul's  reign  it 
had  been  difficult  when  an  enemy  invaded  the  open 
cantons  of  Israel  to  find  time  for  assembling  the  fight- 
ing powers,  the  levy  of  the  people  ;  there  had  been  no 

1  Joshua  xv.  63 ;  Judges  i.  21. 

152  ISRAEL. 

fortified  point  on  which  the  first  shock  of  the  enemy's 
onset  broke,  no  city  strongly  fortified  and  of  consider- 
able size  in  which  large  numbers  could  find  protection. 

Soon  after  the  assembly  at  Hebron,  which  had  trans- 
ferred to  him  the  royal  authority  over  all  the  tribes  of 
Israel,  David  set  himself  to  win  this  place.  First  he 
cut  off  the  water  from  the  city  of  the  Jeljusites,  and 
then  Joab  with  the  veteran  band  of  David  succeeded 
in  climbing  the  wall  in  a  sudden  attack.  The  inhabit- 
ants were  spared ;  at  any  rate  a  part  of  them  must 
have  remained,  for  we  afterwards  find  Jebusites  in  and 
about  Jerusalem.1 

The  princes  of  the  Philistines  had  begun  to  arm  im- 
mediately upon  the  announcement  of  David's  election  to 
be  king  of  all  Israel.2  David  awaited  their  approach  in 
the  citadel  of  Zion  which  he  had  just  conquered.  The 
Philistines  encamped  before  the  city.  When  they  were 
scattered  in  search  of  plunder  in  the  valley  of  Rephaim 
David  inquired  of  Jehovah  whether  he  should  go  down 
against  them.  The  answer  was  favourable.  The  Philis- 
tines were  surprised  and  defeated.  But  they  soon 
appeared  a  second  time  under  the  walls  of  Zion,  and 
the  oracle  of  Jehovah  bade  David  not  to  go  directly 
against  them,  but  to  turn  aside  under  the  balsam  trees. 
If  he  heard  the  tops  of  the  trees  rustle  he  was  to 
hasten  on ;  that  was  the  sign  from  God  that  he  would 
go  before  him  to  smite  the  camp  of  the  Philistines. 
So  it  befel.  David  gained  a  great  victory  and  was 
enabled  to  pursue  the  Philistines  as  far  as  Gezer.3 
Yet  the  war  was  not  decided,  but  still  continued  for  a 
long  time.  Four  battles  took  place  on  the  borders 
near  Gob  and  Gath,  and  many  severe  combats  had  to 
be  fought  with  the  Philistines.  From  all  the  traces 


1  2  Sam.  v.  5— 8;  xxiv.  18;  1  Kings  ix.  20. 

2  2  Sam.  v.  17.  3  2  Sam.  v.  22—25. 


of  tradition  it  is  clear  that  this  war  was  the  most 
stubborn  and  dangerous  of  all  that  David  had  to  wage. 
In  Israel  there  were  stories  of  the  brave  deeds  of 
individual  heroes  which  were  accomplished  in  these 
battles :  of  Abishai,  the  brother  of  Joab,  who  saved 
the  king  in  battle,  when  the  mighty  Philistine  Ishbi 
thought  to  overcome  him ;  of  Elhanan,  who  slew 
Goliath  of  Gath;  and  of  the  deeds  of  Jonathan,  the 
nephew  of  David,  and  Sibbechai  against  the  Philistines.1 
At  length  David  succeeded  in  "wresting  the  bridle  out 
of  the  hand  of  the  Philistines,"  and  "  breaking  their 
horn  in  pieces ; " 2  he  drove  them  back  to  their  old 
borders.  They  had  suffered  such  serious  blows  that 
for  a  long  time  they  abstained  from  all  further  attacks, 
after  they  had  carried  on  warfare  against  the  Hebrews 
for  about  70  years.  Yet  even  David,  in  spite  of  this 
success,  made  no  serious  attempt  to  advance  the  borders 
of  Israel  towards  the  sea,  or  to  subjugate  the  cities  of 
the  Philistines. 

When  the  most  pressing  danger  from  the  Philistines 
was  over,  David  turned  his  arms  to  the  south  and  east, 
against  the  Amalekites,  the  Moabites,  and  Ammonites, 
who  had  once  caused  so  much  misery  and  disaster  to 
Israel.  Against  the  Amalekites  Saul  had  already 
accomplished  the  main  task  (p.  127).  David  smote 
them  with  such  effect  that  the  name  of  the  Amalekites 
is  hardly  once  mentioned  afterwards  ;  the  remainder 
of  the  race  seem  to  have  been  amalgamated  with  the 
Edomites.3  David  had  at  a  former  time  entered  into 
connection  with  the  king  of  Moab  ;  when  he  fled  from 
Saul  he  placed  his  parents  under  his  protection.  The 

1  Above,  p.  131,  note  4;  2  Sain.  xxi.  15—22;  1  Chron.  xxi.  4—8; 
xix.  1. 

2  2  Sam.  viii.  1.     Jesus,  son  of  Sirach,  xlvii.  8. 

3  Noldeke,  "  Amalekiter,"  s.  17 — 25. 

154  ISRAEL. 

cause  of  the  rupture  is  unknown  ;  we  only  know  that 
David  utterly  overthrew  the  Moabites  and  caused  two- 
thirds  of  the  prisoners  to  be  put  to  death.  It  is  said 
that  they  were  compelled  to  lie  down ;  they  were  then 
divided  by  a  measuring  cord  into  three  parts,  of  which 
two  were  slain  by  iron  threshing-carts  being  drawn 
over  them,  and  only  a  third  part  were  spared.1  Nahash, 
the  king  of  Ammon,  with  whom  David  had  also  pre- 
viously been  in  relations  (p.  136),  was  succeeded  by  his 
son  Hanon.  This  prince  insulted  David's  envoys,  he 
caused  their  beards  to  be  shaved  off,  and  their  garments 
to  be  cut  away  as  high  as  the  middle. 

David  sent  Joab  with  the  levy  of  the  people  against 
the  Ammonites  to  avenge  the  insult.  Hanon  called 
on  the  king  of  Zobah — Saul  had  already  had  to  fight 
against  Zobah — and  the  rulers  of  Beth-Rehob,  Maacah, 
and  Tob  in  Syria  for  assistance.  Hadad-Ezer  of  Zobah 
sent  20,000  men ;  from  Tob  came  12,000  ;  from  Maacah 
1000.  Joab  divided  his  army,  left  his  brother 
Abishai  to  oppose  the  Ammonites,  and  turned  himself 
with  picked  men  against  the  Syrians  and  defeated 
them  before  they  could  join  the  Ammonites.2  After  this 
defeat  the  Ammonites  also  retired  before  Abishai  into 
their  fortified  city  of  Rabbath- Ammon  on  the  Nahr- 
Ammon.  But  in  the  next  spring  Hadad-Ezer  collected 
his  whole  force.  David  marched  across  the  Jordan  to 
meet  the  Syrians,  and  defeated  Hadad-Ezer  in  a  decisive 
battle  at  Helam  ;  the  Israelites  carried  off  the  chariots 
of  the  enemy  for  spoil;  1700  horsemen  and  20,000 
foot-soldiers  were  captured.3  David  followed  up  this 
victory  and  overran  the  cities  of  the  king  of  Zobah, 
when  the  king  of  Damascus  took  the  field  in  aid  of 
Hadad-Ezer,  and  the  Edomites  invaded  Judah  from 

1  2  Sam.  viii.  2.  2  2  Sam.  x.  6—14. 

3  2  Sam.  viii.  3,  4 ;  x.  15—19. 


the  south.  David  remained  in  the  field  against  the 
Syrians,  and  sent  Joab  with  only  a  part  of  the  army 
against  the  Edomites.  In  the  salt  valley,  at  the 
southern  end  of  the  Dead  Sea,  Joab  and  Abishai 
defeated  the  Edomites;  12,000  out  of  18,000  are 
said  to  have  fallen  on  this  day.1  In  spite  of  this 
severe  defeat  the  Edomites  made  a  stubborn  resistance. 
Joab,  in  continuous  struggles  which  went  on  for  six 
months,  destroyed  a  great  part  of  the  male  popula- 
tion (the  son  of  the  king  of  Edom  was  carried  by  the 
servants  of  his  father  to  Egypt),  and  subjugated  the 
rest  of  the  inhabitants  to  the  dominion  of  David. 
While  Joab  was  fighting  in  Edom,  David  had  defeated 
the  men  of  Damascus  and  brought  the  war  in  the 
north  to  an  end.  Thoi,  the  king  of  Hamath,  whom 
Hadad-Ezer  had  previously  oppressed,  entered  into  a 
league  with  David.  Only  the  Ammonites  still  con- 
tinued to  resist.  Joab  was  sent  against  them  in  the 
next  year ;  he  laid  their  land  waste,  and  took  one 
city  after  another.  The  captives  were  placed  under 
saws  and  axes,  and  burnt  in  kilns,  or  slain  like  the 
Moabites  under  iron  threshing-wagons.  At  length 
Joab  could  announce  to  David  that  Rabbath-Ammon, 
the  chief  city  of  the  Ammonites,  was  reduced  to 
extremities ;  the  king  must  come  to  enter  into  the 
city.  Rabbath  was  destroyed  (about  1015  B.C.2) ;  the 
inhabitants  shared  the  fate  of  the  other  Ammonite 
cities.  From  the  Syrian  campaign  David  had  brought 
back  a  trophy  of  100  war-horses,  copper  vessels  from 
the  cities  of  Hadad-  Ezer  of  Zobah  which  were  captured, 

1  Psalms  Ix.  2 ;  2  Sam.  viii.  13. 

2  The  date  rests  on  the  fact  that  Solomon  was  born  soon  after,  and 
was  more  than  20  years  old  when  he  came  to  the  throne ;  see  below. 
The  war  against  Hadad-Ezer  cannot  be  placed  before  1020,  since  Rezon, 
who  escaped,  remained  Solomon's  opponent  as  long  as  Solomon  lived. 
1  Kings  xi.  25. 

156  ISRAEL. 

and  finally  the  golden  shields  which  the  commanders 
of  this  king  had  carried.  From  Rabbath  he  brought 
home  the  golden  crown  of  the  king  of  the  Ammonites, 
— it  is  said  to  have  been  a  Kikkar  (I.  285)  in 
weight  and  set  with  precious  stones, — together  with 
other  utensils  of  silver  and  gold.  The  Moabites,  the 
Ammonites,  and  Edomites  were  compelled  to  pay 
tribute.  Garrisons  were  put  in  the  strong  places ; 
even  Damascus  is  said  to  have  received  a  garrison  of 

After  Saul  had  first  saved  Israel  out  of  the  hand  of 
their  oppressors,  after  these  advantages  were  lost  by 
the  domestic  strife,  David  had  now  formed  the  Israel- 
ites into  a  ruling  nation  from  isolated  tribes  who  had 
been  so  often  and  so  long  plundered  by  their  enemies. 
He  had  come  victorious  out  of  the  most  severe  struggles. 
With  reason  could  Israel  now  sing:  "Saul  has  slain 
his  thousands,  David  his  tens  of  thousands." 

It  was  a  rapid  and  brilliant  transformation.  David 
was  master  from  the  borders  of  Egypt,  the  north-east 
point  of  the  Red  Sea,  to  Damascus.  He  was  not  con- 
tent with  successfully  establishing  his  rule  for  the 
moment  by  these  great  and  brilliant  deeds  of  arms ; 
he  intended  to  give  it  a  solid  support  for  the  future. 
He  employed  the  spoils  of  his  victories  in  order  to 
fortify  more  strongly  and  extend  the  city  which  he 
had  chosen  for  his  metropolis ;  it  was  now  called  the 
city  of  David,  and  afterwards  Jerusalem.2  On  Zion, 
the  citadel  of  Jerusalem,  David  caused  a  royal  palace 
to  be  built.  In  the  city  the  remnant  of  the  Jebusites 
had  been  joined  by  inhabitants  from  the  tribes  of 
Judah  and  Benjamin.  If  David  hoped  to  lessen  the 
disaffection  of  the  tribe  of  Benjamin  by  establishing  a 
royal  citadel  in  their  land  he  had  not  calculated  wrongly. 

1  2  Sam.  viii.  6,  7,  14;  x.  19.  2  1  Kings  xi.  27. 


The  sequel  shows  that  Benjamin,  which  previously  held 
to  Ephraim,  now  stood  fast  by  Judah. 

In  possession  of  a  considerable  and  well-fortified 
metropolis,  and  a  strong  royal  citadel,  David  was  able 
to  rule  over  Israel  with  greater  safety  and  severity 
than  Saul  from  his  rural  court  at  Gibeah.  Moreover, 
David  intended  to  create  independent  means  and  pro- 
perty for  the  crown,  and  kept  together  what  he  had 
won.  From  the  tribute  of  the  subjugated  nations  he 
formed  a  treasury,  which  was  placed  under  the  care  of 
Asmaveth.  In  addition  we  hear  of  overseers  of  the 
royal  gardens,  oliveyards,  vineyards,  and  sycamore 
plantations,  and  we  learn  that  David  kept  flocks  of 
small  cattle,  herds  of  oxen,  and  camels.1 

The  strongest  support  of  the  throne  were  his  selected 
and  thoroughly  devoted  troops  of  warriors.  David  was 
accompanied  by  a  body-guard  which  was  always  with 
him  (Saul  had  had  round  him  some  "runners").  It 
appears  from  the  name,  Pelethites  and  Cherethites,  to 
have  been  entirely  composed  of  foreigners  ;  their  leader 
was  Benaiah.2  The  core  of  the  army  was  formed  not 
by  this  body-guard,  but  by  the  freebooters  who  once 
gathered  round  him  in  the  cave  of  Adullam  and  at 
Ziklag,  warriors  tried  often  and  in  numerous  battles. 
They  remained  in  one  body  in  Jerusalem,  and  were 
maintained  by  the  king.  This  band  —  it  was  ap- 
parently about  600  men  in  number,3  and  in  the  ranks 
were  also  foreigners,  Hittites,  Ammonites,  Moabites,  and 
others,  who  formerly  associated  with  David,  or  were 
attracted  by  the  fame  of  his  deeds — was  called  the  troop 
of  the  mighty,  "  Gibborim  ; "  accompanied  by  armour- 
bearers  and  servants,  they  took  the  field.  They  were 

1  1  Chron.  xxvii.  25—31. 

2  2  Sam.  xx.  23;  1  Chron.  xviii.  17. 

3  2  Sam.  xv.  18. 

158  ISRAEL. 

divided  into  three  portions,  under  three  leaders ;  at  their 
head  fought  30  selected  heroes  :  Abishai,  Joab's  brother, 
was  the  captain.1  As  simple  peasants,  the  Israelites  had 
always  fought  on  foot,  without  horses  and  horsemen  ; 
David,  after  the  pattern  of  the  Syrians,  introduced 
chariots.  Josheb  Bassebet  was  the  captain  of  the 
war-chariots.2  Along  with  the  Gibborim,  the  chariots 
were  intended  to  give,  as  trained  divisions,  firmness 
and  support  to  the  levy  of  the  whole  people. 

In  order  to  regulate  the  levy,  Joab,  the  chief  cap- 
tain, with  some  of  his  subordinates,  was  commanded  to 
enumerate  and  write  down  all  the  fighting  men  from  the 
Jabbok  to  Mount  Hermon,  and  from  Dan  to  Beersheba. 
Nine  months  and  twenty  days  were  required  by  the  cap- 
tains for  this  task.  When  the  muster  was  completed, 
captains  were  appointed  for  hundreds  and  thousands ; 
but  in  order  that  the  whole  mass  of  the  people  need 
not  be  called  out  on  every  campaign  and  every  attack 
of  the  enemy, — in  which  hitherto,  for  the  most  part, 
only  those  who  were  eager  for  battle  had  engaged, 
while  those  who  preferred  peace  and  rest  remained  at 
home, — the  whole  number  of  the  fighting  men  was 
divided  into  twelve  portions,  of  which  each,  in  number 
24,000  men,  was  pledged  to  service  for  one  month  iii 
the  year.  Each  of  these  divisions  had  a  separate 
captain.  As  occasion  required,  several  of  the  divisions, 
or  all,  might  be  called  out.  If  we  may  trust  these 
accounts,  Israel  had  at  that  time  300,000  fighting 
men,  and  consequently  a  population  of  about  two 

1  2  Sam.  xxiii.  18 ;  1  Chron.  xi.  15,  26—45. 

2  2  Sam.  xxiii.  8. 

3  2  Sam.  xxir.  9.     The  number  of  the  levy  here,  as  in  almost  all 
accounts  of  the  assembling  of  the  people,  must  be  grossly  exaggerated  : 
800,000  are  given  in  Israel,  500,000  in  Judah  only.     Chronicles  raises 
the  first  number  to  1,100,000,  and  reduces  the  second  to  30,000,  1 


Hitherto  the  descendants  of  the  oldest  families,  the 
heads  of  the  tribes,  the  successors  of  those  who  in  the 
conquest  of  the  land  had  won  for  themselves  separate 
localities  and  valleys,  had  enjoyed  a  pre-eminent 
position  within  the  circle  of  the  various  tribes  (p.  91). 
To  them,  or  to  brave  warriors,  the  Israelites  had  gone, 
— to  men  who  had  become  of  importance  owing  to  their 
possessions,  and  who  had  the  reputation  of  passing 
sound  judgments,—  or  to  priests  and  soothsayers,  when 
they  sought  for  advice,  protection,  and  justice.  Since 
the  establishment  of  the  monarchy  the  king  was  the 
supreme  judge.  David  exercised  this  office  as  Saul 
had  done.1  But  though  he  retained  the  right  of 
deciding  in  the  last  instance,  David  seems  to  have 
appointed  the  princes  and  judges  of  the  tribes ;  he 
charged  certain  of  his  adherents  with  the  duty  of 
giving  justice  to  the  tribes  and  communities,  although, 
of  course,  every  man  had  the  right  of  appeal  from  his 
decision  to  the  decision  of  the  king.  Jurisdiction 
and  administration  not  yet  being  separated,  we  may 
suppose  that  a  regular  government,  which  secured  to 
the  throne  the  execution  of  its  will  and  of  the  orders 
given,  was  established  by  this  means  already  in  David's 
reign.  We  find  that,  beside  the  captains  of  the  army, 

xxii.  5.  The  statement  given  in  Chronicles  about  the  division  of  the 
levy  into  12  troops,  and  the  strength  of  these  troops  (1  xxviii.  1 — 15), 
contradicts  these  numbers.  As  this  arrangement  of  the  army  is 
mentioned  in  Chronicles  only,  which  books  show  a  great  tendency  to 
systematise,  the  division  into  12  remains  uncertain.  That  there  was 
a  numbering  of  the  people  is  not  to  be  doubted.  It  is  counted  as 
one  of  David's  errors,  and  Jehovah  strikes  the  people  with  pestilence. 
This  narrative  is  connected  with  the  command  to  redeem  the  firstborn, 
the  boys  (vol.  i.  499),  the  ordinance  given  in  Exod.  xxx.  12,  which  is 
connected  with  the  same  conception  :  "  When  thou  takest  the  sum  of 
the  children  of  Israel  after  their  number,  then  shall  they  give  every 
man  a  ransom  for  his  soul  to  Jehovah  that  there  be  no  plague  among 

1  2  Sam.  viii.  15. 

160  ISRAEL. 

the  officers  of  the  house  and  treasury,  the  king  had  a 
chancellor,  a  scribe,  and  overseer  of  the  taxes.  Ahi- 
thophel  was  the  man  on  whose  advice  David  mainly 
depended ;  his  most  trusted  friend  was  Hushai ;  and 
in  the  last  twenty  years  of  his  life  the  prophet  Nathan 
enjoyed  a  high  place  in  his  favour.1 

It  was  a  marvellous  career  that  lay  behind  David. 
He  had  grown  up  in  a  hardy  youth  ;  early  approved  as 
a  brave  warrior  and  skilful  leader,  he  was  then  raised 
to  the  side  of  Saul  and  Jonathan ;  after  this  he 
experienced  the  most  sudden  reverse  of  fortune,  and 
at  length  by  very  perplexed  paths  he  reached  the 
highest  stage.  On  this  he  had  been  able  to  retrieve 
many  mistakes  ;  he  came  victorious  out  of  every  con- 
flict. Saul's  deeds  were  surpassed,  and  Israel  was 
proud  of  the  successes  of  David  and  the  respect  which 
he  won  for  her.  He  had  securely  established  his 
authority ;  it  was  founded  so  firmly  that  the  crown 
must  pass  to  his  descendants.  The  religious  feeling 
which  impelled  him  to  inquire  of  Jehovah  before  every 
undertaking,  which  brought  him  at  an  early  period 
into  connection  with  the  seers  and  priests,  could  not 
but  increase  as  he  looked  back  upon  the  course  of  his 
life.  Who  had  greater  reason  than  he  to  be  thankful 
to  the  God  who  protected  him  and  guided  him  so 
marvellously,  who  saved  him  out  of  every  danger  and 
had  raised  him  to  such  power  and  splendour?  In 
early  days  singing  and  harp-playing  had  occupied  the 
leisure  of  his  shepherd  life  ;  gifted  with  poetic  powers, 
he  understood  how  to  give  a  powerful  expression  to 
his  gratitude  towards  Jehovah.  After  these  great 
wars  he  is  said  to  have  sung :  "  Jehovah,  my  rock, 
my  fortress,  my  shield ;  the  horn  of  my  salvation,  my 
defence.  I  called  on  him  who  is  worthy  of  praise,  and 

1  2  Sam.  xx.  23—26 ;  1  Chron.  xxvil  16—22. 


was  delivered  from  my  enemies.  Out  of  his  palace 
he  heard  my  voice,  and  my  cry  came  into  his  ears. 
Then  the  earth  moved  and  quaked,  and  the  foundations 
of  the  earth  trembled,  for  he  was  wroth.  Smoke  rose 
out  of  his  nostrils,  and  a  consuming  fire  went  from  his 
mouth  ;  coals  burned  forth  from  him.  He  bowed  the 
heavens,  and  came  down  on  the  cherubim,  and  hovered 
on  the  wings  of  the  wind.  He  made  darkness  his  veil, 
the  tempest  and  dark  cloud  his  tabernacle.  Jehovah 
thundered,  and  the  Highest  gave  forth  his  voice, 
hail-stones  and  coals  of  fire.  He  shot  forth  his  arrows 
and  destroyed  the  enemy,  the  lightning  fell  and  dis- 
persed them.  With  thee,  Jehovah,  I  wenb  against  hosts, 
and  with  my  God  I  climbed  over  walls.  Jehovah  girded 
me  with  power ;  he  gave  me  feet  like  harts'  feet ;  he 
taught  my  hand  the  battle,  so  that  my  arm  strung  the 
iron  bow.  I  pursued  my  enemies  and  overtook  them, 
and  turned  not  back  till  I  had  destroyed  them  ;  I 
shattered  them  in  pieces  that  they  could  not  rise  up  ; 
I  scattered  them  like  dust  before  the  wind  ;  I  cast  them 
forth  like  dung.  Thou,  Jehovah,  didst  save  me  from 
the  battles  of  the  nations,  and  didst  place  me  at  their 
head ;  nations  which  I  knew  not  serve  me.  At  a 
rumour  they  obey  me,  and  the  sons  of  strangers  flatter 
me ;  they  sink  away  and  tremble  out  of  their  castles. 
Praised  be  my  protector,  exalted  be  the  God  of  my 

It  was  not  in  praise  and  thanksgiving  only  that 
David  gave  expression  to  the  grateful  feeling  which 
filled  him  towards  God;  he  had  it  much  at  heart  to 
create  a  lasting  abode  and  visible  centre  for  the  worship 
of  Jehovah.  For  20  years  the  sacred  ark  of  Israel  had 
remained  at  Kirjath-jearim,  in  the  house  of  Abinadab, 
who  had  made  one  of  his  sons  the  custodian  of  it.  David 

1  Psalin  xviii. ;  cf.  De  Wette-Schrader,  "  Einloitung,"  S.  345. 

VOL.  II.  M 

162  ISRAEL. 

determined  to  convey  it  into  his  metropolis,  that  it 
might  there  be  in  secure  keeping,  and  receive  proper 
reverence.  It  was  placed  on  a  new  wagon  ;  Abinadab's 
sons,  Ahio  and  Uzzah,  led  it  forth.  On  the  way  an 
evil  omen  occurred :  the  oxen  which  drew  the  wao;oii 


broke  loose,  the  ark  tottered,  and  Uzzah  put  out  his 
hand  to  stay  it.  "  Then  the  anger  of  Jehovah  broke 
forth  against  Uzzah,  and  he  smote  him,  and  he  died 
there  before  God."  After  this  incident  David  feared 
to  carry  the  ark  further ;  it  remained  on  the  road,  at 
the  house  of  Obed-edom ;  and  not  until  it  was  seen 
that  it  brought  prosperity  to  the  house  of  Obed-edom 
did  David,  three  months  after,  again  take  it  up  and 
carry  it  to  Jerusalem.  In  festal  train  the  people 
accompanied  it  with  "  shouting  and  trumpets  ;  "  and 
David,  clad  in  the  linen  tunic  of  the  priests,  "  danced 
before  Jehovah."  "  Lift  up  your  heads,  O  ye  gates, 
that  the  King  of  glory  may  come  in/'  he  is  said  to  have 
sung.  The  tabernacle  was  already  erected  on  Zion,  and 
in  it  the  ark  of  Jehovah  was  then  placed  ;  and  "David 
sacrificed  burnt  offerings  and  thank  offerings,  and  gave 
to  all  the  people,  to  each  man  a  measure  of  wine,  a 
loaf  of  bread  and  a  cake  of  raisins"  (about  1020  B.C.1). 
Abiathar,  the  son  of  Ahimclech,  of  the  house  of  Eli, 
of  the  race  of  Ithamar,  of  the  tribe  of  Aaron,  who  had 
formerly  fled  to  him  with  the  image  of  Jehovah  from 

1  2  Sam.  vi.  1 — 8,  12 — 15  ;  Psalm  xxiv.  On  the  date  see  above,  p, 
125,  n.  2.  M.  Niebuhr  ("  Assur  und  Babel,"  a  350)  explains  the 
number  of  466^  years  given  by  Josephus  ("  Ant."  20,  10)  by  assuming 
that  it  contains  the  interval  of  430^  years  which  the  Hebrews  give  for 
the  interval  between  the  building  of  the  temple  and  its  destruction. 
To  this  amount  is  added  eight  years  for  the  captive  high  priest  Joza- 
dak,  down  to  the  time  when  his  son  Joshua  became  high  priest,  and  28 
years  for  Zadok's  priesthood  before  the  commencement  of  the  building 
of  the  temple.  If  we  reckon  the  28  years  of  Zadok  backwards  for  the 
time  that  we  have  assumed  for  the  beginning  of  the  temple,  990  B.C., 
•we  arrive  at  the  year  1018  B.C.  for  the  erection  of  the  new  tabernacle. 


Nob  and  remained  by  his  side,  and  beside  him  Zadok, 
of  the  house  of  Eleazar,  of  the  tribe  of  Aaron,  who  had 
hitherto  been  high  prisst  at  the  place  of  sacrifice  at 
Gibeon,1  were  made  by  David  the  custodians  of  the 
new  tabernacle,  which  he  then  adorned  with  the  costly 
spoil  of  his  victories.  By  bringing  the  ark  of  the  cove- 
nant into  his  city  he  gave  it  a  sacred  pledge,  the 
assurance  of  the  protection  and  the  grace  of  Jehovah. 
His  city  was  the  dwelling  of  Jehovah,  the  citadel  of 
Zion  the  mount  of  G-od.  David's  new  metropolis  was 
thus  at  the  same  time  raised  to  be  the  central  point 
of  the  national  worship,  and  in  the  fullest  sense  the 
metropolis  of  the  land.  Service  before  the  ark  of  the 
covenant  on  Zion  could  not  but  throw  into  the  shade 
the  old  places  of  sacrifice  at  Shiloh,  Bethel,  Gibeon, 
Gilgal,  and  Nob. 

The  erection  of  the  sacred  ark  on  Zion,  the  found- 
ation of  a  central  point  for  the  worship,  certainly  met 
the  wishes  of  the  priests.  Only  by  a  strictly -regulated 
and  dominant  mode  of  worship,  by  centralising  the 
service,  could  the  priests  hope  to  bring  into  vogue  the 
arrangement  of  ritual  which  they  regarded  as  the  true 
method  appointed  by  God.  Relying  on  the  import- 
ance of  such  a  central  point,  on  the  authority  of  the 
crown,  they  could  expect  obedience  to  their  regulations. 
David  on  his  part  would  hardly  fail  to  see  what  weight 
the  influence  of  an  allied  priesthood  could  add  to  the 
strength  of  the  throne. 

What  David  did  for  Israel  by  the  cultivation  of 
religious  song,  by  setting  up  the  old  national  shrine  in 
the  new  metropolis,  by  the  dedication  of  it  to  be  the 
abode  of  Jehovah  has  been  of  deep-reaching  and  even 
decisive  influence  for  the  fortunes  of  Israel  and  the 
course  of  her  religious  development.  It  is,  of  course, 

1  1  Chron.  xvi.  39. 


164  ISRAEL. 

beyond  doubt  that  only  a  few  of  the  Psalms  which 
David  is  said  to  have  sung  can  with  certainty  be 
traced  back  to  him  ;  but  from  the  fact  that  the  greater 
part  of  these  poems  could  be  ascribed  to  him,  it  follows 
with  the  greater  certainty  that  he  must  have  given  a 
powerful  impulse  to  the  religious  poetry  of  Israel,  that 
the  words  of  thankfulness  and  trust  in  God  from  the 
lips  of  the  victorious  royal  minstrel  had  the  greatest 
influence  on  the  Israelites.  This  influence  connected 
with  the  exaltation  and  worship  of  the  national  sacred 
relic  at  Zion  gave  a  new  life  and  firmer  root  to  the 
belief  of  the  Israelites,  both  in  the  direction  of  religious 
feeling  and  religious  prescriptions.  When  the  chief  place 
of  sacrifice  was  marked  out  indubitably  by  the  sacred 
ark  on  Zion,  and  members  of  the  oldest  priestly  family 
officiated  there,  it  was  natural  that  by  degrees  a  con- 
siderable number  of  priests  should  collect  there,  in 
order  to  share  and  co-operate  in  the  worship  in  the 
sacred  tent,  in  the  tabernacle.  These  priests  were 
arranged  according  to  their  families  or  "houses;"  the 
greater  number  claimed  Eleazar,  the  third  son  of 
Aaron,  as  their  progenitor,  while  the  less  claimed  to 
be  descended  from  Ithamar,  the  fourth  son  of  Aaron.1 
The  eyes  of  the  priesthood  were  already  turned  from 
Hebron  to  the  early  history  of  the  nation,  to  the  cor- 
rect mode  of  worship,  as  Aaron  and  Moses  had  formerly 
proclaimed  and  practised  it,  which  since  the  settlement 
in  Canaan  had  become  almost  forgotten  and  obsolete 
with  priests  and  laymen,  since  different  customs  had 
come  into  use  at  different  places  of  sacrifice.  The 
service  at  the  new  and  yet  ancient  shrine  at  Jerusalem 
must  support  the  impulse  to  practise,  here  at  any  rate, 
the  old  correct  customs  in  perfect  purity  as  a  pattern 
and  example,  to  insist  on  the  custom  of  Zion  as  pleasing 

1  2  Sam.  xv.  24,  27  ;  1  Chron.  vii.  4 — 15,  50 — 53  ;  xxiii. — xxvi. 


to  God»  and  established  by  Moses,  and  to  bring  once 
more  into  authority  and  practice  the  true  regulations  of 
the  sacrificial  rites  for  the  whole  land.  Agreement  and 
union  in  the  mode  of  worship  would  be  most  quickly  and 
most  thoroughly  obtained  if  the  place  of  the  tabernacle 
could  be  shown  to  be  the  only  correct  place  of  sacrifice. 
Though  the  Philistines  had  opposed  the  growth  of 
the  strength  of  Israel,  the  combination  and  arrangement 
of  her  powers,  with  perseverance  and  stubbornness,  the 
cities  of  the  Phenicians  seem  rather  to  have  welcomed 
the  establishment  of  a  strict  ruling  authority  in  Israel, 
which  preserved  peace  in  the  land  and  so  made  trade 
easier.  Perhaps  too  they  looked  with  pleasure  on  the 
formation  of  a  power  which  could  balance  that  of  the 
Philistines,  and  prevent  them  from  advancing  as  far  as 
the  gates  of  Tyre.  At  any  rate  Hiram,  king  of  Tyre, 
who  began  to  rule  in  that  city  in  the  year  1001  B.C.,1 
entered  into  friendly  relations  with  David.  He  sent 
him  Tyrian  artisans,  who  adorned  David's  palace  on 
Zion.  The  Israelites  were  not  skilled  in  fine  building. 
After  this  palace  was  completed  we  must  look  on 
David's  house  and  court  as  splendid  and  numerous. 
There  was  the  chancellor,  the  keeper  of  the  treasury, 
the  chief  tax-gatherer,  the  scribe  with  his  subordinates; 
there  were  singers,  male  and  female,  the  body-guard, 
and  the  servants.2  David  had  brought  seven  wives 
from  Hebron  to  his  new  metropolis.  Michal,  the 
daughter  of  Saul,  had  borne  no  children  to  David ; 
his  eldest  son,  Amnon,  was  by  Ahinoam  of  Jezreel; 
the  second,  Chileab,  by  Abigail,  the  widow  of  Nabal. 
When  he  ruled  the  tribe  of  Judah  from  Hebron  he 
married  a  fourth  wife,  Maacah,  the  daughter  of 

1  If  Josephus  is  right,  that  the  fourth  year  of  Solomon  was  the  twelfth 
year  of  Hiram  of  Tyre. 

2  2  Sam.  xix.  35. 

166  ISRAEL. 

Thalmai,  prince  of  Geshur,  in  order,  no  doubt,  to 
strengthen  by  this  connection  his  power,  then  so  weak. 
Maacah  bore  him  a  third  son,  Absalom,  and  a  daugh- 
ter, Tamar ;  his  fifth  wife,  Haggith,  bore  a  fourth  son, 
Adonijah.  In  Jerusalem  he  took  yet  more  wives  and 
concubines  into  his  house,  who,  besides  these  sons,  bore 
seventeen  sons  and  several  daughters,  beside  Tamar. 
When  his  sons  became  men,  the  unavoidable  conse- 
quences of  the  harem  came  to  light :  the  mutual 
jealousy  of  the  sons  of  the  various  wives,  and  the 
ambition  of  some  of  the  wives  to  obtain  the  succession 
for  their  sons. 

The  establishment  of  the  monarchy  had  brought  a 
rich  return  to  the  Israelites.  Under  its  guidance,  not 
only  had  the  enemies  of  the  land  been  beaten  back,  but 
Israel  had  gained  a  leading  place  in  Syria.  Moreover, 
David  had  transformed  the  somewhat  insecure  leader- 
ship conferred  on  Saul  by  his  election  into  a  firm  and 
deep-reaching  supremacy ;  a  mere  name,  a  wavering 
authority,  he  had  raised  after  the  pattern  of  his  neigh- 
bours into  a  strict  rule,  which  could  lead  the  people 
at  will,  and  dispose  of  them  at  pleasure.  This  trans- 
formation had  taken  place  so  quickly,  the  enrolment  of 
Israel  in  the  forms  of  Syrian  monarchy  was  carried  out 
so  thoroughly,  that  there  could  not  fail  to  be  a  strong 
reaction.  The  new  officers  were  oppressive  ;  task-work 
for  the  king,  levies  of  the  army  for  muster  and  for 
service  beyond  the  land,  were  to  the  Israelites  new  and 
very  unwonted  burdens.  When  external  dangers  had 
passed  away  with  the  humiliation  of  the  neighbours,  and 
the  days  of  the  old  incursions,  distresses,  and  oppres- 
sions were  forgotten,  it  might  very  well  happen  that  the 
Israelites  felt  the  new  arrangement  of  the  community, 
the  mode  in  which  they  were  governed,  to  be  a  burden 
rather  than  a  benefit.  In  the  later  years  of  the  reign  of 


David  a  lively  aversion  to  his  rule  was  spread  through 
all  the  tribes ;  and  it  is  remarkable  that  it  was  most 
deeply  felt  in  his  own  tribe  of  Judah,  which  had  for- 
merly exalted  him.  in  Hebron.  On  this  feeling  of  the 
people,  David's  third  son,  Absalom,  founded  the  plan 
of  depriving  his  father  of  the  sovereignty,  in  order  to 
ascend  the  throne  before  it  came  to  him  by  inheritance.1 
Absalom,  David's  son  by  Maacah  of  G-eshur,  was  a 
handsome  man,  without  blemish  from  head  to  foot, 
adorned  with  a  heavy  growth  of  hair,  and  a  favourite 
of  the  people,  though  the  guilt  of  a  foul  deed  lay  upon 
him.  The  beauty  of  Tamar,  the  full  sister  of  Absalom, 
had  roused  the  passions  of  Amnon,  the  eldest  son  of 
David.  He  enticed  her  into  his  house  by  deceit,  dis- 
honoured her  and  thrust  her  in  scorn  into  the  street. 
As  the  king  did  not  punish  the  crime,  Absalom  invited 
Amnon  to  his  plot  of  Baal  Hazor,  to  the  sheep-shearing, 
and  there  caused  him  to  be  stabbed  by  his  servants  in 
order  to  avenge  his  sister's  shame.  After  this  he  fled 
to  his  grandfather,  the  prince  of  Geshur.  After  three 
years'  banishment  he  was  allowed  to  return,  but  might 
not  see  his  father's  face ;  this  was  not  permitted  till 
two  year  safter  his  return.  Amnon  was  dead  ;  Chileab, 
David's  second  son,  died,  as  it  seems,  in  this  period. 
Absalom  was  now  again  received  into  favour,  and 
became  the  legitimate  heir  to  the  throne. 

1  Absalom's  rebellion  cannot  have  taken  place  till  the  latter  years 
of  David.  Absalom  was  born  in  Hebron,  and  therefore,  at  the  least, 
after  David's  thirtieth  year,  2  Sam.  v.  4.  He  must  at  the  least  have  been 
towards  20  years  old  when  he  caused  Amnon  to  be  murdered.  Five 
years  passed  before  David  would  allow  him  to  enter  his  presence,  2 
Sam.  xiii.  38,  and  xiv.  28.  Lastly,  his  efforts  to  gain  popularity,  and 
the  preparations  for  rebellion,  must  have  occupied  two  years.  If  it  is 
stated  in  2  Sam.  xv.  7  that  after  Absalom's  return  from  Geshur  40 
years  elapsed  till  his  rebellion,  Absalom  must  have  been  63  years  old 
at  the  time  of  his  rebellion,  and  David  at  the  least  93  years  old.  Hence 
in  the  passage  quoted  four  years  must  be  read  instead  of  40. 

168  ISRAEL. 

As  a  token  of  his  claims,  Absalom  procured  horses, 
and  chariots  and  a  retinue  of  50  men.  Early  in  the 
morning  he  was  at  the  gates  of  Jerusalem ;  he  in- 
quired of  every  one  whence  he  came,  allowed  no  one 
to  prostrate  himself  before  him,  but  shook  all  by  the 
hand  and  kissed  them.  If  he  heard  that  any  one  came 
for  justice,  he  caused  the  matter  to  be  told  to  him,  and 
then  said :  Your  cause  is  good,  but  you  will  not  be 
heard ;  if  I  were  judge  in  Israel  you  would  certainly 
gain  your  rights.  Four  years  after  his  return  from 
Geshur,  when  Ahithophel,  the  most  distinguished  of 
David's  counsellors,  and  Amasa,  the  son  of  a  sister  of 
David,  had  gone  over  to  his  side,1  Absalom  considered 
his  prospects  favourable.  He  sent  trusty  men  to  all 
the  tribes  with  instructions  to  proclaim  him  king  as 
soon  as  they  understood  that  he  was  in  Hebron.  Under 
pretence  of  offering  sacrifice  at  Hebron,  which  city 
perhaps  looked  with  jealousy  on  the  new  metropolis, 
Absalom  went  from  Jerusalem  to  Hebron.  The  tribes 
obeyed  this  signal  for  revolt ;  everywhere  the  people 
on  this  side  Jordan  declared  for  Absalom,  and  great 
numbers  gathered  round  him.  At  their  head  he  set 
out  against  Jerusalem,  against  his  father. 

David  was  completely  taken  by  surprise.  His  own 
son  now  brought  on  him  retribution  for  all  that  he  had 
previously  done  to  Saul.  Clever  and  circumspect  as 
the  old  king  was,  he  seems  to  have  found  his  master  in 
his  son.  Not  secure  of  the  people  even  at  Jerusalem, 
he  could  not  venture  to  defend  himself  in  his  fortified 
metropolis  ;  nothing  remained  but  to  retire  in  all  haste. 
Yet  even  in  this  desperate  position  the  cunning  which 
had  so  often  come  to  his  aid  in  his  varied  life  did  not 
desert  him.  Absalom  he  little  ;  his  greatest  terror 
was  the  counsels  of  Ahithophel.  Hence  he  commanded 

1  2  Sam.  xv.  1—6;  xrii.  2o;   1  Chron.  ii.  17. 


Husliai  (p.  160)  to  remain  behind,  and  in  appearance  to 
take  Absalom's  part,  in  order  to  counteract  Ahithophel. 
If  Absalom  could  be  induced  not  to  pursue  his  advantage 
immediately,  and  David  could  gain  time  to  collect  his 
adherents,  much  would  be  won.  Abiathar  and  Zadok 
also,  the  high  priests  of  the  sacred  tabernacle,  who 
wished  to  share  his  flight,  were  bidden  to  remain  in 
Jerusalem.  Their  position  as  priests  was  a  sufficient 
protection  for  them  ;  by  means  of  their  sons  they  were 
to  furnish  information  of  what  took  place  in  the  city.1 
Accompanied  by  some  of  his  wives  and  their  children, 
by  his  most  faithful  adherents,  the  Gibborim,  and  the 
body-guard,  David  left  the  city  in  the  early  morning. 
Over  the  Kidron,  along  the  Mount  of  Olives,  he 
hastened  eastwards  to  find  protection  beyond  the 
Jordan.  At  Bahurim  Sbimei,  a  man  of  Benjamin,  of 
the  race  of  Matri,  to  which  Saul  belonged,  saw  from 
an  eminence  the  flight  of  the  king.  He  threw  stones 
down  upon  him  and  said  :  May  Jehovah  bring  upon 
thee  all  the  blood  of  the  house  of  Saul,  in  whose  place 
thou  hast  become  king  ;  see,  thou  art  now  in  calamity; 
away,  thou  man  of  blood.  The  body-guard  wished  to 
take  the  man  and  slay  him,  but  David  restrained  them, 
and  said :  My  son,  who  has  come  forth  from  my 
loins,  is  seeking  my  life  ;  how  much  more  a  man  of 
Benjamin ;  let  him  curse.  Perhaps  at  this  moment 
David's  spirit  was  really  broken ;  perhaps  he  did  not 
wish  that  the  people  should  be  further  roused  by  new 
acts  of  violence  ;  in  the  sequel  he  showed  that  he  had 
neither  forgotten  nor  forgiven  the  words  of  Shimei. 

On  the  same  day  Absalom  marched  into  Jerusalem, 
and  among  those  who  greeted  him  he  saw  with  astonish- 
ment Hushai,  the  ancient  friend  of  his  father.  He 
believed  Hushai's  assurance  that  he  wished  to  "serve 

1  2  Sam.  XT.  5—14. 

170  ISRAEL. 

him  whom  Jehovah  and  all  the  men  of  Israel  had 
chosen."  Ahithophel  considered  the  success  which  had 
been  obtained,  the  rebellion  which  spread  through  the 
whole  country  on  this  side  of  the  Jordan,  and  the 
possession  of  the  strong  metropolis  and  the  palace 
without  a  blow,  insufficient  and  indecisive.  He  saw 
the  situation  clearly,  and  was  convinced  that  all  would 
be  lost  if  the  king  had  time  to  collect  round  him  his 
old  adherents,  his  companions  in  victory.  Filled  with 
the  conviction  that  the  only  way  to  obtain  the  end  in 
view  was  to  make  an  immediate  use  of  the  great 
advantages  won  by  the  surprise,  he  insisted  that 
Absalom  should  at  once  set  out  in  pursuit  of  David. 
The  people  which  Absalom  had  led  from  Hebron  were 
numerous,  of  these  he  wished  to  leave  behind  the 
burdensome  multitude  and  select  12,000  for  this  ex- 
pedition. Hushai  opposed  this  proposal  with  great 
skill.  Thou  knowest  thy  father,  he  said  to  Absalom, 
he  is  a  mighty  warrior,  like  a  bear  deprived  of  her  whelps 
in  the  forest,  and  his  men  are  mighty  and  of  fierce 
courage.  He  will  not  be  encamped  on  the  field,  but 
will  have  concealed  himself  in  one  of  the  hiding-places. 
If  any  of  our  men  fall  it  will  be  said,  Absalom's  men 
have  been  defeated,  and  all  thy  adherents  will  lose 
courage.  Rather  rouse  all  Israel,  and  inarch  out  at 
their  head,  that  we  may  encamp  against  David  like 
the  sand  of  the  sea,  and  none  of  his  men  may  escape. 
Absalom  followed  this  advice  to  his  ruin.  Yet  Hushai 
was  not  certain  that  Ahithophel  would  not  win  over 
Absalom  to  his  opinion,  or  go  of  his  own  will  against 
David ;  so  he  sent  his  maid  before  the  gate  to  the  fuller's 
well  (to  the  south  of  the  city,  where  the  valleys  of 
Hinnom  and  Kidron  join),  where  Jonathan,  the  son  of 
Abiathar,  and  Ahimaaz,  the  son  of  Zadok,  lay  concealed 
(Absalom's  men  had  not  allowed  them  to  leave  the 


gate),  with  instructions  to  them  to  hasten  to  the  king 
and  warn  him  not  to  encamp  on  this  side  of  Jordan. 
Though  watched  by  Absalom's  guards  and  pursued, 
the  two  men  came  without  disaster  to  David,  who 
again  set  out  in  the  night.  When  Ahithophel  heard 
that  the  king  was  beyond  Jordan  he  despaired  of  the 
undertaking  ;  he  saddled  his  ass,  went  to  his  own  city, 
set  his  house  in  order  and  hung  himself. 

Absalom  took  formal  possession  of  the  sovereignty, 
and  as  a  sign  that  he  had  broken  for  ever  with  his 
father  and  assumed  the  government,  he  took  the  royal 
harem  into  his  possession.  A  tent  was  set  up  on  the 
roof  of  the  palace  of  Zion,  under  which  Absalom  lived 
with  the  ten  concubines  whom  David  had  left  behind 
in  Jerusalem  before  the  eyes  of  Israel.  When  this  was 
done  he  raised  the  whole  people  to  march  against  his 
father,  and  went  with  numerous  troops  to  the  Jordan. 
David  was  at  Mahanaim,  like  Ishbosheth  before  him, 
eagerly  busied  with  his  army.  It  was  due  to  the 
cunning  arrangements  made  in  the  flight  from  Jerusa- 
lem that  he  had  escaped  without  danger  beyond  Jordan, 
and  was  enabled  to  assemble  his  own  adherents  there 
while  Absalom  was  calling  out  and  collecting  the  whole 
army.  From  the  Ammonites,  whom  he  had  treated  so 
harshly,  he  seems  nevertheless  to  have  received  support.1 

While  Absalom  crossed  the  Jordan,  David  divided  the 
forces  he  had  at  his  disposal  into  three  corps,  the  com- 
mand of  which  he  entrusted  to  Joab,  his  brother  Abishai, 
and  Ithai,  a  Philistine  of  Gath.  He  remained  behind 
in  Mahanaim,  and  bade  the  captains  deal  gently  with 
Absalom  in  the  event  of  victory.  The  armies  met  in 
the  forest  of  Ephraim,  not  far  from  the  Jordan.  In  spite 
of  the  superiority  of  the  numbers  opposed  to  them,  the 
tried  and  veteran  soldiers  of  David  had  the  advantage 

1  2  Sam.  xvii.  27. 

172  ISRAEL. 

over  the  ill-armed  and  ill-organised  masses  of  peasants. 
Absalom  started  back  on  his  mule,  fell  into  a  thicket, 
and  became  entangled  by  his  long  hair  in  the  branches 
of  a  large  terebinth.  He  remained  hanging  while  his 
mule  ran  away  from  under  him.  Joab  found  him  in 
this  position,  and  thrust  his  spear  thrice  through  his 
heart.  Either  the  fall  of  the  hostile  leader,  the  author 
of  the  rebellion,  appeared  a  sufficient  success  to  David's 
men,  or  the  advantage  gained  over  Absalom's  army  was 
not  very  great,  or  they  found  themselves  too  weak  to 
follow  it  up.  Joab  led  the  army  back  to  Mahanaim. 

Though  the  rebellion  had  lost  its  leader  by  the  fall 
of  Absalom,  it  was  far  from  being  crushed.  Absalom's 
captain,  Amasa,  the  nephew  of  David,  collected  the 
masses  of  the  rebellious  army ;  the  elders  of  the  tribes, 
as  well  as  the  people,  were  ready  to  continue  the 
struggle  against  David,  though  some  were  again  in- 
clined to  accept  their  old  king.  If  the  tribes  could  be 
divided,  and  Amasa  separated  from  the  elders  of  Judah, 
the  victory  was  almost  certain.  On  this  David  built 
his  plan.  By  means  of  the  priests  Abiathar  and  Zadok 
he  caused  it  to  be  made  known  to  the  elders  of  Judah 
that  the  rest  of  the  tribes  had  made  overtures  to  him, 
to  recognise  him  again  as  king,  which  was  not  the  case  ; 
— would  they  be  the  last  to  lead  back  their  own  flesh 
and  blood,  their  tribesman  David  ?  At  the  same  time 
the  priests  were  bidden  to  offer  to  Amasa  the  post  of 
captain-general  as  the  reward  of  his  return,  and  this 
offer  David  confirmed  with  an  oath :  So  might  God  do 
to  him  if  Amasa  were  not  captain  all  his  days  in  the 
p]ace  of  Joab.1  The  elders  of  Judah  allowed  themselves 
to  be  entrapped  no  less  than  Amasa,  who  little  knew 
with  whom  he  had  to  do.  They  sent  a  message  to 
the  king  that  he  might  return  over  the  Jordan,  and 

1  2  Sam.  xix.  11—13. 


went  to  meet  him  at  Gilgal.  David  showed  himself 
placable,  and  prepared  to  pardon  the  adherents  of 
Absalom.  Shimei,  who  had  cursed  him  on  his  retire- 
ment from  Jerusalem,  went  to  meet  him  at  the  Jordan  ; 
and  when  the  boat  which  carried  David  over  reached 
the  hither  bank  he  fell  at  his  feet.  David  promised 
not  to  slay  him  with  the  sword.1  From  Mephibosheth, 
the  son  of  Jonathan,  who  had  declared  for  Absalom, 
he  only  took  the  half  of  Saul's  inheritance.2 

The  remaining  tribes  were  enraged  at  the  tribe  of 
Judah,  partly  because  they  had  abandoned  the  common 
cause,  partly  because  Judah  had  entirely  appropriated 
the  merit  of  bringing  back  the  king.  Their  feelings 
were  wavering  :  half  were  for  submission,  the  others 
for  continuing  the  resistance.3  Then  rose  up  a  man 
of  Benjamin,  Sheba,  the  son  of  Bichri.  "What  part 
have  we  in  David,  what  portion  in  the  son  of  Jesse  ? " 
he  cried  to  the  waverers,  caused  the  trumpets  to  be 
blown,  and  gave  a  new  centre  to  rebellion  and  resist- 
ance. David  commissioned  Amasa  to  call  out  the 
warriors  of  Judah  within  three  days  and  lead  them  to 
Jerusalem.  While  Amasa  was  occupied  with  carrying 
out  this  command,  David  sent  Joab  with  the  Gibborim 
and  the  body-guard  against  Sheba.  At  Gibeon  Joab 
met  Amasa.  Is  all  well  with  thee,  my  brother  ?  he 
said,  and  took  him  by  the  beard  with  his  right  hand 
to  greet  him,  while  with  the  left  he  thrust  his  sword 
through  his  body.4  Thus,  after  he  had  been  gained  by 
deceptive  promises,  the  dangerous  man  was  removed 
as  Abner  had  been  before  him.  Sheba  could  not 
withstand  the  impetuous  advance  of  Joab  ;  the  tribes 
submitted.  Sheba's  first  resistance  was  made  far  in  the 

1  2  Sam.  xix.  18—33  ;   1  Kings  ii.  8. 

2  2  Sam.  xvi.  3—5 ;  xix.  24—30.  3  2  Sam.  xix.  40. 
*  2  Sam.  xx.  8—13 ;   1  Kings  ii.  5. 

174  ISRAEL. 

north  at  Dan,  in  the  city  of  Abel-beth-maachah,  and 
there  he  defended  himself  so  stubbornly  that  a  rampart 
was  thrown  up  against  the  city  and  besieging  engines 
brought  up  agaicst  the  walls.  When  the  walls  were 
near  upon  falling,  and  the  citizens  saw  destruction 
before  them,  they  saved  themselves  by  cutting  off 
Sheba's  head  and  sending  it  to  Joab.1  The  reaction 
of  the  people  against  the  new  government,  at  the  head 
of  which  Absalom,  Amasa,  and  Sheba  had  successively 
placed  themselves,  was  overcome. 

Many  years  before,  at  the  time  when  Joab  was 
besieging  Rabbath,  the  metropolis  of  the  Ammonites, 
David  had  gone  out  on  the  roof  of  his  house  in  Zion  in 
the  cool  of  the  evening.  This  position  overlooked  the 
houses  in  the  ravine  which  separated  the  citadel  from 
the  city.  In  one  of  these  David  saw  a  beautiful  woman 
in  her  bath.  This  was  Bathsheba,  the  wife  of  Uriah,  a 
Hittite,  who  served  in  the  troop  of  the  "mighty."  The 
king  sent  for  her  to  his  palace,  and  she  soon  announced 
to  David  that  she  was  with  child.  David  gave  orders 
to  Joab  to  send  Uriah  from  the  camp  to  Jerusalem. 
He  asked  him  of  the  state  of  the  war  and  the  army, 
and  then  bade  him  go  home  to  his  wife,  but  Uriah  lay 
before  the  gate  of  the  palace.  When  David  asked  him 
on  the  next  morning  why  he  had  not  gone  home  to 
his  house,  he  answered  :  Israel  is  in  the  field,  and  my 
fellows  lie  in  the  camp  before  Rabbath,  and  shall  I  go 
to  my  house  to  eat  and  drink  and  lie  with  my  wife  ? 
Remain  here,  replied  David ;  to-morrow  morning  I 
will  let  thee  go.  David  invited  him  into  the  palace 
and  made  him  drunken,  but,  as  before,  Uriah  passed 
the  night  before  the  gate  of  the  palace.  Then,  on  the 
following  day,  David  sent  Uriah  to  the  camp  with  a 
letter  to  Joab :  Place  Uriah  in  the  thickest  of  the 

1  2  Sam.  xx.  15—22. 

THE  RULE  OF  DAVID.  17.5 

battle,  and  turn  away  from  him,  that  he  may  be 
smitten,  and  die.  Soon  after  a  messenger  came  from 
the  camp  and  announced  to  the  king  :  The  men  of 
Rabbath  made  a  sally ;  we  repulsed  them,  and  drove 
them  to  the  gate ;  then  the  bowmen  shot  at  thy 
servants  from  the  walls,  and  some  of  our  men  were 
slain,  amonor  them  Uriah.  David  caused  Bathsheba, 
when  the  time  for  mourning  was  over,  to  come  into  his 
harem,  and  after  the  death  of  her  first  child,  she  bore 
a  second  child,  whom  David  called  Solomon,  i.  e.  the 
peaceful,1  as  the  times  of  war  were  over  with  the  cap- 
ture of  Rabbath  and  the  subjugation  of  the  Ammonites. 
After  Absalom's  death  the  heir  to  the  crown  was 
Adonijah,  the  fourth  son  of  David,  whom  Haggith  had 
borne  to  him  while  at  Hebron.  Solomon  was  the 
seventh  in  the  series  of  the  surviving  sons  of  David, 
and  as  yet  quite  young ;  yet  Bathsheba  attempted  to 
place  her  son  on  the  throne.  One  of  the  two  high 
priests,  Zadok,  supported  Bathsheba's  views,  as  also 
Nathan  the  prophet,  who  acquired  great  influence 
with  David  in  the  last  years  of  his  reign.  Both  might 
expect  a  greater  deference  to  priestly  influence  from 
the  youthful  Solomon  than  from  the  older  and  more 
independent  Adonijah,  and  the  more  so  if  they 
assisted  the  young  man  to  gain  the  throne  against  the 
legitimate  successor.  So  Bathsheba  prevailed  upon 
David  to  swear  an  oath  by  Jehovah  that  Solomon 
should  be  his  successor  in  the  place  of  Adonijah.2  But 
Adonijah  did  not  doubt  that  the  throne  belonged  to 
him,  that  all  Israel  was  of  the  same  conviction,  and 
their  eyes  turned  upon  him.3  If  Zadok  was  in  favour  of 
Solomon's  succession,  Abiathar,  the  old  and  influential 
adherent  of  David,  was  for  Adonijah,  and  what  was 

1  2  Sam.  xii.  15—24  ;  1  Chron.  xxii.  9.         2  1  Kings  i.  17,  20. 
3  1  Kings  ii.  15,  22. 

176  ISRAEL. 

more  important,  the  captain  of  the  army,  Joab,  who 
had  won  David's  best  victories,  also  declared  for  him. 
On  the  other  hand,  Bathsheba's  party  won  Benaiah, 
the  captain  of  the  body-guard,  so  that  the  power  and 
prospects  of  both  party  were  about  equal. 

When  David,  70  years  old,  lay  on  his  death-bed, 
Adonijah  felt  that  he  must  anticipate  his  opponents. 
He  summoned  his  adherents  to  meet  outside  the  walls 
at  the  fuller's  well  (p.  170).  Joab  appeared  with  the 
leaders  of  the  army,  Abiathar  came  to  offer  sacrifice, 
and  all  the  sons  of  David  except  Solomon.  The  sacri- 
fice was  already  being  offered,  the  sheep,  oxen  and 
calves  were  killed,  the  proclamation  of  Adonijah  was 
to  follow  immediately  after  the  sacrifice,  when  the 
intelligence  was  carried  to  the  opposite  party.  Bath- 
sheba  and  Nathan  hastened  to  the  dying  king  to 
remind  him  of  his  oath  in  favour  of  Solomon.  He 
gave  orders  that  Solomon  should  be  placed  on  the 
mule  which  he  always  rode  himself  and  that  Zadok 
should  anoint  the  youth  under  the  wall  of  Zion  east- 
wards of  the  city  at  the  fount  of  Gihon.  Then 
Benaiah  with  the  body-guard  was  to  bring  him  back 
into  the  city  at  once  with  the  sound  of  trumpets,  and 
lead  him  into  the  palace,  in  order  to  set  him  upon  the 
throne  there.  This  was  done.  Zadok  took  the  horn 
of  oil  from  the  sacred  tabernacle,  and  when  the  new 
ruler  returned  in  solemn  procession  to  the  palace  all 
the  people  cried  with  joy :  Long  live  king  Solomon. 
When  Adouijah  and  his  adherents  heard  the  shouting 
from  the  city,  and  understood  what  had  taken  place, 
they  gave  up  their  cause  for  lost,  and  dispersed  in 
dread  in  every  direction.  David  rejoiced  over  this 
last  success ; l  he  called  Solomon  to  his  bedside,  and 
said  to  him  :  "  Do  good  to  the  sons  of  Barzillai  the 

1  1  Kings  ii.  5 — 9. 


Gileadite;  he  received  me  well  when  I  fled  over 
Jordan  before  thy  brother  Absalom.  Shimei,  who 
cursed  me  when  I  fled  to  Mahanaim,  I  have  sworn  not 
to  slay  ;  let  him  not  go  unpunished,  and  bring  his 
grey  hairs  to  the  grave  with  blood.  What  Joab  did 
to  Abner  and  Amasa  thou  knowest ;  let  not  his  grey 
hairs  go  down  to  the  grave  in  peace."1  David  was 
buried  in  the  grave  which  he  had  caused  to  be  made 
on  Zion,  where  the  heights  of  the  citadel  meet  the 
western  height,  on  which  the  city  lay. 

Thus  David  had  succeeded  in  healing  the  wounds 
which  his  ambition  had  inflicted  in  past  days  on  Israel ; 
he  understood  how  to  establish  firmly  the  monarchy,  and 
along  with  it  the  power  and  security  of  the  state.  He 
had  given  such  an  important  impulse  to  the  worship,  to 
the  religious  poetry,  and  consequently  to  the  religious 
life,  of  the  Hebrews,  that  his  reign  has  remained  of  de- 
cisive importance  for  the  entire  development  of  Israel. 
But  beside  these  great  successes  and  high  merits  lie  very 
dark  shadows.  If  we  cannot  but  admire  the  activity 
and  bravery,  the  wisdom  and  circumspection,  which 
distinguish  his  reign,  there  stands  beside  these  qualities 
not  only  the  weakness  of  his  later  years,  which  caused 
him  to  make  a  capricious  alteration  in  the  succession, 
thereby  endangering  the  work  of  his  life  ;  other  actions, 
both  of  his  earlier  and  later  years,  show  plainly  that  in 
spite  of  religious  feeling  and  sentiment  he  did  not  hesi- 
tate to  set  aside  very  fundamental  rules  of  morality 
when  it  came  to  winning  the  object  he  had  in  view. 

If  even  in  his  last  moments  he  causes  Joab  to  be 
put  to  death  by  the  hand  of  his  son,  it  may  be 

1  1  Kings  ii.  5 — 9.  The  verses  2  Sam.  xxiii.  1 — 7  may  have  been  a 
speech  of  David's  at  some  former  time,  if  they  are  not  an  addition  of 
the  prophet's.  Contrasted  with  the  very  definite  and  realistic  colouring 
of  the  passage  quoted  from  the  Book  of  Kings,  they  can  hardly  be 
considered  the  last  words. 

VOL.    II.  N 

178  ISRAEL. 

that  this  old  servant,  when  he  had  taken  the  side 
of  the  other  son  in  the  succession,  appeared  very 
dangerous  for  the  rule  of  the  younger  son.  But  Joab 
had  rendered  the  greatest  services  to  David,  he  had 
won  for  him  the  most  brilliant  victories ;  and  if  our 
account  makes  David  give  the  murder  of  Abner  and 
Amasa  as  the  reason  for  that  command,  David  had 
made  no  attempt  to  punish  one  deed  or  the  other ;  on 
the  contrary,  he  had  gladly  availed  himself  of  at  least 
the  results  and  fruits  of  them.  We  must  not  indeed 
measure  those  days  of  unrestrained  force  and  violent 
passion  in  hatred  and  love,  in  devotion  and  ambition, 
by  the  standard  of  our  own  tamer  impulses ;  the 
manner  of  the  ancient  East,  above  all  of  the  Semites, 
was  too  much  inclined  to  the  most  bloody  revenge. 
Yet  David's  instructions  to  destroy  a  man  of  no  im- 
portance, whom  he  had  once  in  a  difficult  position 
sworn  to  spare,  out  of  the  grave,  by  the  hand  of  his 
son,  goes  beyond  the  limit  of  all  that  we  can  elsewhere 
find  in  those  times  and  feelings. 



IN  the  last  hour  of  his  life  David  had  raised  his 
favourite  son  to  the  throne.  The  young  king  was  not 
much  more  than  20  years  of  age,1  and  the  news  of  the 
death  of  the  dreaded  ruler  of  Israel  could  not  but 
awaken  among  all  who  had  felt  the  weight  of  his  arm 
the  hope  of  withdrawing  themselves  from  the  burden 
laid  upon  them.  The  son  of  the  king  of  Edom,  whom 
his  father's  servants  had  carried  away,  in  safety  into 
Egypt,  had  grown  up  there  under  the  protection  of  the 
Pharaoh ;  at  the  news  of  David's  death  he  hastened 
to  Edom  to  summon  his  people  to  freedom  and  the 
struggle  against  Israel.  A  captain  of  Hadad-Ezer 
of  Zobah,  whom  David  overthrew,  Rezon  by  name, 
fled  at  that  time  into  the  desert,  where  he  collected  a 
troop  round  him  and  lived  by  plundering.  Now  he 
threw  himself  on  Damascus,  gained  the  city,  and  made 
himself  prince.  Moreover,  the  power  of  Solomon  was 
not  firmly  established  even  in  Israel;  the  people  had 
expected  the  accession  of  Adonijah,2  and  though  he 

1  Bathsheba  became  David's  wife  not  long  before  the  capture  of 
Rabbath-Ammon.  Her  first  child  died.  According  to  1  Kings  iii.  7, 
Solomon,  at  the  time  of  his  accession,  is  still  a  boy.  But  since,  accord- 
ing to  1  Kings  xiv.  21,  his  son  Kehoboam  is  42  years  old  at  Solomon's 
death,  and  Solomon  had  reigned  40  years,  Solomon  must  have  been 
more  than  20  at  the  death  of  David.  Hence,  on  p.  155  above,  the  date 
of  the  capture  of  Rabbath- Ammon  is  fixed  at  1015  B.C. 

3  1  Kings  ii.  15. 

N  2 

180  ISRAEL. 

and  his  confederates  retired  at  the  first  alarm,  there 
was  no  lack  of  adherents.  Serious  dangers  and  com- 
motions appeared  to  threaten  the  new  reigri.  Adonijah 
had  fled  for  refuge  to  the  altar  ;  he  besought  Solomon 
for  a  pledge  not  to  slay  him.  Solomon  promised  to 
spare  him  if  he  remained  quietly  at  home.  Joab  did 
not  know  what  commands  David  had.given  Solomon  in 
his  dying  hour,  but  he  did  know  that  Solomon  would 
not  forgive  him  for  supporting  Adonijah.  He  sought 
refuge  in  the  tabernacle  of  Jehovah,  and  took  hold  of 
the  horns  of  the  altar  in  the  tent.  Solomon  bade 
Benaiah  cut  him  down.  Benaiah  hesitated  to  pollute 
the  altar  with  blood ;  he  reported  that  Joab  could 
not  be  induced  to  leave  the  altar.  The  young  king 
repeated  his  command,  "  Cut  him  down,  and  take  from 
me  and  from  the  house  of  my  father  the  blood  of  Abner 
and  the  blood  of  Amasa."  So  Joab  was  slain  by  Benaiah 
at  the  altar  of  the  sacred  tent,  and  buried  "  in  his  house 
in  the  desert."  The  high  priest  Abiathar  escaped  with 
his  life.  "  I  will  not  slay  thee,"  so  Solomon  said  to 
him,  "  because  thou  didst  once  suffer  with  my  father." 
He  banished  him  as  a  "  man  of  death  "  to  his  inherit- 
ance at  Anathoth.  Zadok  was  henceforth  sole  high 
priest  at  the  sacred  tent.  When  Adonijah  afterwards 
besought  Solomon  to  give  him  one  of  the  concubines 
of  David,  Abishag  the  Shunamite,  to  wife,  Solomon 
thought  that  he  sought  to  obtain  the  throne  by  this 
means.  He  commanded  Benaiah  to  slay  him  on  the 
spot.  With  the  death  of  Adonijah  his  party  lost  their 
head  and  centre  :  it  ceased  to  exist. 

Solomon  broke  the  rebellion  of  the  Edomites  not  by 
his  arms  only,  but  also  by  withdrawing  from  them  the 
support  of  Egypt.  He  sought  the  hand  of  the  daughter 
of  the  king  of  Egypt  and  obtained  it.1  Thus  he  not 

1  1  Kings  iii.  1.    From  the  statement  in  1  Kings  xi.  14 — 21,  this 


only  withdrew  from  Edom  their  reliance  on  Egypt,  he 
also  obtained  the  active  support  of  his  father-in-law. 
The  Edomites  were  defeated  in  battle  by  Solomon ; 
Egyptian  soldiers  reduced  Gezer  for  him.1  On  the 
other  hand.  Solomon  could  not  defeat  the  new  kino-  of 

*  o 

Damascus.  Rezon  maintained  his  place,  and  was  an 
"  adversary  to  Israel  as  long  as  Solomon  lived." 2 
Hence  it  is  hardly  possible  that  Solomon  reduced  the 
kingdom  of  Hamath,  north  of  Damascus,  to  subjection, 
as  the  Chronicles  assert ; 3  on  the  other  hand,  it  appears 
that  the  oasis  of  Tadmor,  in  the  Syrian  desert,  north  of 
Damascus,  was  gained,  and  the  city  of  that  name  was 
founded  and  established  there.  Hence,  even  after  the 
loss  of  Damascus,  he  had  command  of  one  of  the  roads  to 
the  Euphrates.4  We  may  assume  that  Solomon  retained 
the  kingdom  of  David  without  any  essential  alteration 
in  extent ;  that  he,  like  his  predecessor,  held  sway  as 
far  as  the  north-east  point  of  the  Red  Sea ;  and  that 
even  if  his  rule  did  not  extend,  like  David's,  to  the 
Euphrates,  yet  he  possessed  a  predominant  position  in 
this  direction.  The  connection  in  which  Hiram  king 
of  Tyre  stood  with  his  father  he  not  only  maintained, 
but  made  it  more  close  and  more  extensive. 

With  the  close  of  the  third  year  of  the  reign  of 
Solomon  the  wars  which  the  change  on  the  throne 
kindled  came  to  an  end.  It  is  said  to  have  been  David's 
intention  in  the  last  years  of  his  reigri  to  build  a 
temple  in  the  place  of  the  sacred  tent  on  Zion.  As 

must  have  been  the  daughter  of  Amenophtis,  the  Pharaoh  who 
succeeded  the  king  mentioned  here,  the  fourth  Tanite  in  Manetho'a 
list.  Below,  Book  IV.  chap.  3. 

1  1  Kings  ix.  16.  2  1  Kings  xi.  23—25. 

3  2  Chron.  viii.  3. 

4  2  Chron.  vii.  8;  viii.  4;  1  Kings  ix.  18;    Joseph.  "Antiq."  8,  6, 
1.     The  passage  in  the  Book  of  Kings  appears,  it  is  true,  to  indicate 
Thamar  in  Southern  Judsea. 

182  ISRAEL. 

soon  as  times  of  peace  came  Solomon  set  himself  to  carry 
out  this  purpose.  Hiram  of  Tyre  promised  to  deliver 
wood  from  the  forests  of  Lebanon  at  a  price,  and  to  put 
at  his  disposal  architects  and  moulders  of  brass.  To 
the  north  of  the  palace  which  David  had  built  on  Zion 
the  mountain,  on  which  the  citadel  was,  rose  higher. 
Here  the  new  temple  was  to  be  erected.  The  first  task 
was  to  level  the  height ;  a  terrace  was  raised  upon  it 
by  removing  some  parts  and  filling  up  others,  arid 
building  substructures ;  this  terrace  was  intended  to 
form  the  precincts  and  support  the  temple  itself.  The 
surrounding  hills  and  the  neighbourhood  provided 
an  ample  supply  of  stones  for  building ;  stone  of 
a  better  quality  was  quarried  in  Lebanon  and  carried 
down.  The  trees  felled  in  Lebanon  were  carried  to 
the  coast,  floated  round  the  promontory  of  Carmel 
as  far  as  Japho  (Joppa),  and  again  dragged  up  from 
this  point  to  Jerusalem.1  The  vessels  and  the  orna- 
ments of  brass  intended  for  the  temple  were  cast  "  in 
clay  ground"  beyond  the  Jordan,  between  Succoth  and 
Zarthan,  by  the  Tyrian  Hiram.2  A  wall  of  huge 
stones,  on  which  were  built  the  dwellings  of  the  priests, 
surrounded  the  temple  precincts.  The  temple  itself 
was  a  building  of  moderate  dimensions,  but  richly 
adorned.  A  portico  of  20  cubits  in  breadth  and  10 
cubits  in  depth,  opening  to  the  east,  formed  the 
entrance  into  the  temple.  Before  this  portico,  after  the 
Syrian  manner,  stood  two  pillars  of  brass,  one  called 
Jachin,  the  other  Boaz.  The  temple,  exclusive  of  the 
portico,  was  60  cubits  in  length,  20  cubits  in  breadth, 
and  30  cubits  in  height.  The  breadth  was  limited  by 
the  unsupported  span  of  the  beams  of  the  roof.  On 
both  sides  of  the  temple  itself  leaned  side-buildings, 
which  rose  to  the  height  of  half  the  main  structure. 

1  1  Kings  v.  7—10,  15—17.  2  1  Kings  vii.  46. 


The  front  space  of  the  temple  was  lighted  by  trellised 
openings  over  these  side-buildings.  This  front  space, 
which  was  the  largest,  and  entered  from  the  portico 
by  a  door  of  cypress  wood,  adorned  with  carved  work 
overlaid  with  gold,  was  richly  ornamented.  The 
floor  was  laid  with  cypress  wood  overlaid  with  gold ; 
the  walls  and  the  roof  were  covered  with  panels  of 
cedar  wood,  which  in  richly-carved  work  displayed 
cherubs  and  palm-branches,  so  that  not  a  stone  could 
be  seen  in  the  interior.  In  this  space  of  the  temple — 
the  "  holy "  —  was  an  altar  overlaid  with  gold  for 
offering  frankincense  (for  the  smoke -offering),  and  a 
sacred  table  for  the  sacrificial  bread.  Nearer  to  the 
inner  space  of  the  temple — the  "holy  of  holies" — 
were  ten  candlesticks,  and  further  in  a  candlestick  with 
seven  branches.  The  holy  of  holies,  i.  e.  the  smaller 
inner  space  of  the  temple,  which  was  intended  to 
receive  the  sacred  ark,  was  divided  from  the  holy  by 
a  wall  of  cedar  wood,  in  which  was  a  double  door  of 
olive  wood,  hanging  on  golden  hinges.  Only  the 
high  priest  could  enter  the  holy  of  holies,  the  walls 
of  which  were  covered  with  gold-leaf,  and  even  from 
him  the  sight  of  the  ark  was  hidden  by  a  curtain 
of  blue  and  red  purple,  and  approach  was  barred  by  a 
golden  chain.  Immediately  before  the  ark  were  two 
cherubs  of  carved  olive  wood  overlaid  with  gold,  10 
cubits  high,  with  outspread  wings,  so  that  from  the 
point  of  one  wing  to  the  point  of  the  other  was  also  a 
distance  of  10  cubits.1 

The  sacrifices  of  animals  were  offered  in  the  open  air 
of  the  court  in  front  of  the  temple.  For  this  object  a 
great  altar  of  brass  was  erected  in  the  middle  of  the 
court,  10  cubits  in  height  and  20  in  the  square. 
Southward  of  this  altar  was  placed  a  great  basin,  in 

1  1  Kings  vi.,  vii.  13—51 ;  2  Chron.  iii.  4,  10. 

184  ISRAEL. 

which  the  priests  had  to  perform  their  ablutions  and 
purifications ;  this  was  a  much-admired  work  of  the 
artisan  Hiram,  and  called  the  sea  of  brass.  Supported 
by  twelve  brazen  oxen,  arranged  in  four  sets  of  three, 
and  turned  to  the  four  quarters  of  the  sky,  the  round 
bowl,  which  was  of  the  shape  of  a  lily  broken  open, 
measured  five  cubits  in  depth  and  30  in  circumference.1 
Beside  this  great  basin  five  smaller  iron  bowls  were  set 
up  on  either  side  of  the  altar.  These  rested  on  wheels, 
and  were  adorned  with  cherubs  and  lions,  palms  and 
flowers,  with  the  greatest  skill.  They  were  intended 
to  serve  for  washing  and  purifying  the  animals  and 
implements  of  sacrifice. 

Solomon  commenced  the  building  of  the  temple  in 
the  second  month  of  the  fourth  year  of  his  reign  (990 
B.C.).  After  seven  years  and  six  months  it  was  finished 
in  the  eighth  month  of  the  eleventh  year  of  Solomon's 
reign  (983  B.C.).  The  elders  of  all  Israel,  the  priests 
and  Levites,  and  all  the  people  "  from  Hamath  to  the 
brook  of  Egypt,"  flocked  to  Jerusalem.  In  solemn 
pomp  the  sacred  ark  was  drawn  up  to  the  temple 
height;  oxen  and  sheep  without  number  were  sacrificed 
for  seven  days,  and  from  that  time  forward  the  king 
offered  a  solemn  sacrifice  each  year  at  the  three  great 
festivals  in  the  new  temple.2 

The  house  which  David  had  built  for  himself  on 
Zion  no  longer  satisfied  the  requirements  of  Solomon 
and  his  larger  court.  When  the  temple  was  finished 
he  undertook  the  building  of  a  new  palace,  which  was 
carried  out  on  such  a  scale  that  the  completion  occu- 
pied thirteen  years.3  The  new  palace  was  not  built  on 

1  A  similar  vessel  of  stone,  30  feet  in  circumference,  adorned  with 
the  image  of  a  bull,  lies  among  the  fragments  of  Amathus  in  Cyprus : 
O.  Miiller,  "  Archaeologie,"  §  240,  Anm.  4. 

2  1  Kings  ix.  25.  3  1  Kings  vii.  1—12. 


Zion,  but  on  the  western  ridge,  which  supported  the 
city  to  the  west  of  Zion  and  David's  palace.  It  con- 
sisted of  several  buildings,  surrounded  by  courts  and 
houses  for  the  servants,  and  enclosed  by  a  separate  wall. 
The  largest  building  was  a  house  of  stone  three  stories 
high,  the  stories  and  roof  of  which  were  supported  by 
cedar  pillars  and  beams  of  cedar;  the  length  was  100, 
the  breadth  50,  and  the  height  30  cubits  (about  50  feet). 
A  balustrade  or  staircase  in  this  house  was  made  of 
sandal  wood,  which  the  ships  of  Ezion-geber  had 
brought  from  Ophir.1  On  this  building  abutted  three 
colonnades,  the  largest  50  cubits  long  and  30  broad ; 
the  third  was  the  hall  of  the  throne  and  of  justice.2 
Here  stood  the  magnificent  throne  of  Solomon,  "  of 
which  the  like  was  never  made  in  any  kingdom,"  of 
ivory  overlaid  with  gold.  Six  steps,  on  which  were 
twelve  lions,  led  up  to  it ;  beside  the  arms  of  the 
seat  were  also  two  lions.3  Then  followed  the  dwelling 
of  Solomon,  from  which  a  separate  stair-way  was 
made  leading  up  to  the  temple,  together  with  the 
chambers  for  the  wives  of  the  king, — their  number  is 
given  at  700,  the  number  of  the  concubines  at  300,4 — 
and  lastly  a  separate  house  for  his  Egyptian  consort, 
who  passed  as  the  first  wife,  and  was  honoured 
and  distinguished  above  the  rest.  In  the  four-and- 
twentieth  year  of  Solomon's  reign  (970  B.C.)  this 
building  was  brought  to  an  end,  "  and  the  daughter 
of  Pharaoh  went  up  from  the  city  of  David  into  the 
house  which  Solomon  had  built  for  her."  5 

Solomon  felt  it  incumbent  on  him  to  secure  his  land, 
and  not  merely  to  adorn  the  metropolis  by  splendid 

1  1  Kings  x.  12 ;  2  Chron.  ix.  11.  2  1  Kings  vii.  7. 

3  1  Kings  x.  18—20. 

4  The  Song  of  Solomon  says,  "There  are  60  queens,  80  concubines, 
and  maids  without  number." 

5  1  Kings  ix.  10,  24. 

186  ISRAEL. 

buildings,  but  to  make  it  inaccessible  to  attack.  To 
protect  northern  Israel  against  Rezon  and  Damascus 
he  fortified  Hazor,  whose  king  had  once  so  grievously 
oppressed  Israel,  and  Baalath  ;  to  protect  the  western 
border  he  fortified  Megiddo,  Gezer,  and  Beth-horon.1 
The  defensive  works  which  David  had  added  to  the 
old  fortifications  of  the  metropolis  he  enlarged  and 
extended.  The  gorge  which,  running  from  north  to 
south,  divided  the  city  of  Jerusalem  on  the  western 
height  from  the  citadel  of  Zion  on  the  east  he  closed 
towards  the  north  by  a  separate  fortification,  the  tower 
of  Millo.  By  another  fortification,  Ophel,  he  protected 
a  depression  of  Mount  Zion  between  David's  palace 
and  the  new  temple,  which  allowed  the  citadel  to  be 
ascended  from  the  east.  The  space  over  which  the 
city  had  extended  on  the  western  height  opposite  the 
temple,  in  consequence  of  the  growth  of  a  suburb  there 
towards  the  north,  the  lower  city,  he  surrounded  with 
a  wall.2  He  raised  the  number  of  the  chariots  of  war, 
which  David  had  introduced,  to  1400,  for  which  4000 
horses  were  kept.  He  formed  a  cavalry  force  of  12,000 
horses,  he  built  stables  and  sheds  for  the  horsemen  and 
chariots.  If  we  include  the  body-guard,  the  standing 
army  which  Solomon  maintained  may  very  well  have 
reached  20,000  men.3 

The  excellent  arrangement  of  his  military  means  and 
forces  must  have  contributed  to  make  Israel  respected 
and  to  preserve  peace  in  the  land.  In  Solomon's 
reign,  so  we  are  told  in  the  Books  of  Kings,  every  one 
could  dwell  in  peace  under  his  own  vine  and  his 
own  fig  tree.4  This  peace  from  without,  united  with 
the  peace  which  the  power  and  authority  of  the 
throne  secured  in  the  country,  must  have  invigorated 

1  1  Kings  ix.  15—19.  2  1  Kings  xi.  27;  ix.  15—24-. 

3  1  Kings  iv.  26 ;  x.  26.  4  1  Kings  iv.  20,  25  ;  v.  4. 


trade,  favoured  industry,  and  considerably  increased 
the  welfare  of  Israel.  The  example  of  the  court,  the 
splendour  and  magnificence  of  which  was  not  increased 
by  buildings  only,  made  the  wealthy  Israelites  ac- 
quainted with  needs  and  enjoyments  hitherto  unknown 
to  their  simple  modes  of  life.  If  hitherto  the  Israelites 
had  sold  to  the  Phenicians  win3  and  oil,  the  wool  of 
their  flocks,  and  the  surplus  products  of  their  lands  for 
utensils  and  stuffs,  the  finer  manufactures  of  the  Pheni- 
cians now  found  a  demand  in  Israel,  If  the  kino-  of 


Israel  was  friendly  to  the  Pheuicians,  he  allowed  them. 
a  road  by  land  through  his  territories  to  Egypt ;  now 
that  the  Ammonites,  Moabites  and  Edomites  had 
been  subjugated  he  could  close  or  open  the  caravan 
road  past  Rabbath-Ainmon,  Kir  Moab,  and  Elath  to 
South  Arabia  (I.  320),  and  when  Tadmor  was  in  his 
hands  he  could  permit  or  prohibit  a  road  to  the 
Euphrates  beside  that  past  Damascus.  Solomon  pro- 
hibited none  of  these ;  on  the  contrary,  he  promoted 
the  intercourse  of  the  merchants  by  erecting  restino-- 

«/  O  O 

places  and  warehouses  on  all  the  lines  of  traffic  which 
crossed  his  dominions.1  The  exportation  of  chariots 
and  war-horses  from  Egypt  to  Syria,  which  the 
Pharaoh  no  doubt  permitted  in  an  especial  degree 
to  his  son-in-law,  Solomon  carried  on  by  means  of 
merchants  commissioned  by  him.2  Another  trade 
undertaking,  at  once  much  more  far-seeing,  and 
promising  far  greater  gains,  he  commenced  in  union 
with  the  king  of  Tyre.  It  was  of  great  importance  to 
the  Phenicians  to  obtain  an  easier  connection  with 
South  Arabia  in  the  place  of,  or  at  least  in  addition 
to,  the  dangerous  and  very  uncertain  caravan  routes 
past  Damascus  and  Dumah  (I.  320),  or  past  Elath 
along  the  coast  of  the  Bed  Sea,  to  South  Arabia.  The 

1  1  Kings  ix.  19.  2  1  Kings  x.  29. 

188  ISRAEL. 

circuit  by  Babylon  was  very  distant,  and  not  much 
more  secure.  The  rule  of  Solomon  over  Edom  pointed 
out  the  way,  and  secured  the  possibility  of  reaching 
South  Arabia  by  the  Red  Sea,  At  Eziongeber,  near 
Elath,  Tyrian  shipbuilders  built  the  vessels  which  were 
to  explore  the  coasts  of  South  Arabia,  the  coasts  of  the 
land  of  gold.  Guided  by  Phenician  pilots,  Phenicians 
and  Israelites  sailed  into  the  unknown  sea,  and  to 
unknown  and  remote  corners  of  the  earth.  They 
succeeded  not  only  in  reaching  the  South  Arabian 
coasts  and  the  coasts  of  East  Africa,  but  in  passing 
beyond  to  Ophir,  i.  <?.,  as  it  seems,  to  the  mouths  of 
the  Indus.  After  an  absence  of  three  years  the  first 
expedition  brought  back  gold  in  quantities,  silver, 
ivory,  sandal  wood,  precious  stones,  apes  and  pea- 
cocks. The  profits  of  this  expedition  are  said  to  have 
contributed  as  Solomon's  share  420  Kikkars  of  gold, 
i.  e.  towards  20,000,000  thalers  (about  £3,000,000).1 

With  the  increased  sale  of  the  products  of  the 
country,  the  improvement  and  security  of  the  great 
routes  of  traffic,  the  entrance  of  Israel  into  the  trade 
of  the  Phenicians,  and  the  influx  of  a  considerable 
amount  of  capital,  money  seems  to  have  become  very 
rapidly  and  seriously  depreciated  in  price  in  Israel. 
Before  the  establishment  of  the  monarchy  a  priest  is 
said  to  have  received  10  silver  shekels,  with  food  and 
clothing,  for  his  yearly  service  at  a  sacred  place.2  The 
amount  from  which  Abimelech  is  said  to  have  main- 
tained his  retinue  (p.  107)  is  placed  at  only  70  shekels 
of  silver.  ^Before  the  epoch  of  the  monarchy  the  prophet 
received  a  quarter  of  a  shekel  as  a  return  for  his 
services.  David  purchased  the  threshing-floor  of 

1  1  Kings  ix.  26—28 ;  x.  22. 

2  Judges  xvii.  10.     The  Hebrew  silver  shekel  is  to  be  reckoned  at 
more  than  2s.  6d. ;  the  gold  shekel  from  36  to  45«.     C£  Vol.  i.  304. 


Araunah  at  Zion  with  two  oxen  for  50  shekels  of 
silver.1  On  the  other  hand,  Solomon  appears  to  have 
paid  the  keepers  of  his  vineyards  a  yearly  salary  of 
200  silver  shekels,  and  in  his  time  150  shekels  were 
paid  for  an  Egyptian  horse,  and  600  shekels  (500 
thalers  =  £80)  for  a  war-chariot.2 

The  prosperity  of  the  land  allowed  Solomon  to 
increase  the  income  of  the  throne  by  taxation  of  the 
people.  His  income  from  the  navigation  to  Ophir, 
from  trade,  from  the  royal  demesnes,  and  the  taxes  of 
Israel  is  said  to  have  brought  in  a  yearly  sum  of 
666  Kikkars  of  gold,  i.  e.  about  30,000,000  of  thalers 
(about  £5, 000,000). 3  He  applied  these  revenues  to 
the  support  of  his  army,  to  his  fortifications,  sheds,  and 
splendid  buildings,  to  the  erection  of  the  stations  on 
the  trade  roads,  and  finally  to  the  adornment  of  the 
court.  "  He  built  in  Jerusalem,  on  Lebanon,  and  in 
the  whole  land  of  his  dominion,"  say  the  Books  of 
Kings.4  We  hear  of  conduits,  pools  and  country 
houses  of  the  king  on  Antilibanus ;  of  vineyards  and 
gardens  at  Baal-Hammon.  The  splendour  of  his  court 
is  described  in  extravagant  terms.  All  the  drinking- 
vessels  and  many  other  utensils  in  the  palace  at  Jeru- 
salem, and  in  the  forest-house  in  Antilibanus,  are  said 
to  have  been  of  pure  gold,  and  the  servants  were 
richly  clad.5  In  a  costly  litter  of  cedar  wood,  of  which 
the  posts  were  of  silver,  the  arms  of  gold,  and  the  seat 
of  purple,  Solomon  was  conveyed  to  his  vineyards  and 
pleasure-houses  in  Antilibanus,  surrounded  by  a  retinue 
of  60  men  chosen  from  the  body-guard.6  At  solemn 
processions  the  body-guard  carried  500  ornamented 

1  2  Sam.  xxiv.  24. 

2  Song  of  Solomon  viii.  11 ;   cf.  Mover's  "  Phoenizier,"  3,  48  if,  81  ff. 

3  1  Kings  x.  14.  *  1  Kings  ix.  19. 

6  1  Kings  x.  21 ;  2  Chron.  ix.  20.        6  Song  of  Solomon  iii.  7—10. 

190  ISEAEL. 

shields  :  200  were  of  pure  gold, — for  each  600  shekels 
were  used, — 300  of  alloyed  gold.1  The  number  of  male 
and  female  singers,  of  the  servants  for  the  king  and 
crowded  harem,  and  the  kitchen,  must  have  been  very- 
great,  as  may  be  inferred  from  the  very  considerable 
consumption  of  food  and  drink  in  the  palace.  From 
the  court  and  from  trade  such  an  amount  of  gold 
flowed  to  Jerusalem  that  silver  was  in  consequence 

The  new  arrangement  of  state  life,  which  was  partly 
established,  partly  introduced,  by  Solomon,  the  lei- 
sure of  peace,  the  close  contact  with  Phoenicia  and 
Egypt,  the  entrance  of  Israel  into  extensive  trade,  the 
increase  of  prosperity,  the  richer,  more  various,  and 
more  complicated  conditions  of  life,  the  wider  range  of 
vision,  could  not  be  without  their  influence  on  the 
intellectual  life  of  the  Israelites.  From  this  time  an 
increased  activity  is  displayed.  They  were  impelled 
and  forced  to  observation,  comparison  and  considera- 
tion in  quite  another  manner  than  before.  The  results 
of  these  new  reflections  grew  into  fixed  rules,  into  pro- 
verbs and  apophthegms.  In  this  intellectual  move- 
ment Solomon  took  a  leading  part.  A  man  of  poetical 
gifts  like  his  father,  he  composed  religious  and  other 
poems  (1005  in  number,  according  to  the  tradition). 
The  impulse  to  knowledge  and  the  sense  of  art  which 
he  excites  must  first  have  found  room  within  himself; 
his  vision,  like  his  means,  reached  the  furthest.  Hence 
we  have  no  reason  to  doubt  that  he  was  one  of  the 
wisest  in  his  nation.  "  God,"  says  the  Book  of  Kings, 
"gave  Solomon  a  spirit  beyond  measure,  as  the  sand 
of  the  sea.  And  the  wisdom  of  Solomon  was  greater 
than  the  wisdom  of  all  the  sons  of  the  East,  and  the 
wisdom  of  Egypt.  He  was  wiser  than  all  men,  and 
1  1  Kings  x.  27.  »  1  Kings  x.  27. 


lie  spoke  of  the  trees,  from  the  cedar  on  Lebanon  to 
the  hyssop  which  grows  on  the  wall,  and  of  the  cattle 
and  the  birds,  and  the  worms  and  the  fishes." l 
Beside  poetry  and  extensive  knowledge  of  nature,  in 
which  he  surpassed  his  wisest  countrymen,  Ethal 
and  Heman,  Chalcol  and  Darda,  it  was  his  keen 
observation,  his  penetrating  knowledge  of  mankind, 
his  experience  of  life  which  made  the  greatest  impres- 
sion. His  proverbs  and  rules  of  life  seemed  to  the 
Israelites  so  pointed  and  exhaustive  that  they  attri- 
buted to  Solomon  the  entire  treasure  of  their  gnomic 
wisdom,  which  was  afterwards  collected  into  one  body. 
Among  these  proverbs  scarcely  any  can  with  complete 
certainty  be  ascribed  to  Solomon,  but  the  fact  that 
all  are  attributed  to  him  is  a  sufficient  proof  that 
Solomon  possessed  a  very  striking  power  in  keen 
observation  of  human  nature  and  human  affairs,  in 
the  pregnant  expression  of  practical  experience,  in 
combining  its  lessons  into  pointed  and  vigorous 

As  a  proof  of  his  acuteness  and  the  calm  penetra- 
tion of  his  judicial  decisions,  the  people  used  to  narrate 
the  story  of  the  two  women  who  once  came  before 
Solomon  into  the  hall  of  justice.  One  said :  I  and 
that  woman  lived  in  one  house,  and  each  of  us  bore  a 
male  child.  In  the  night  the  son  of  this  woman  died. 
She  rose,  laid  her  dead  son  at  my  breast,  and  took  my 
living  child  to  her  bosom.  When  I  woke  I  had  a 
dead  child  in  my  arms ;  but  in  the  morning  I  perceived 
that  this  child  was  not  the  son  which  I  had  borne. 
The  other  woman  answered  :  No  ;  the  living  boy  is  my 
son,  and  thine  is  the  dead  child.  The  king  turned  to  his 
retinue  and  said :  Cut  the  living  child  into  two  parts, 
and  give  half  to  one  and  half  to  the  other.  Then 

1  1  Kings  iv.  29—34. 

192  ISRAEL. 

tenderness  for  her  child  arose  in  the  mother  of  the 
living  child.  I  pray  you,  my  lord,  she  said,  give  her 
the  living  child,  but  slay  it  not.  And  the  king  gave 
sentence :  This  is  the  mother,  give  her  the  child.  It 
is  further  narrated  that  the  fame  of  Solomon's  wisdom 
reached  even  to  distant  lands,  and  kings  set  forth  to 

'  O 

hear  it.  From  Arabia  the  queen  of  the  Sabaeans 
(Sheba,  I.  315)  is  said  to  have  come  with  a  long  train 
of  camels,  carrying  spices,  gold,  and  precious  stones, 
in  order  to  try  Solomon  with  enigmas.  And  Solomon 
told  her  all  that  she  asked,  and  solved  all  the  enigmas, 
and  nothing  was  hidden  from  him.  When  the  queen 
perceived  such  wisdom,  and  saw  the  house  which  he 
had  built,  and  the  food  on  his  table,  and  his  counsel- 
lors, and  his  cup-bearers,  and  servants,  and  the  burnt 
sacrifice  which  he  offered  in  the  house  of  Jehovah, 
she  sent  him  120  Kikkarsof  gold,  and  such  an  amount 
of  spices  as  never  afterwards  came  to  Jerusalem.  This 
narrative  may  not  be  without  some  foundation,  in  fact 
we  saw  above  how  old  was  the  trade  of  Egypt  and 
Syria  with  the  land  of  frankincense.  We  shall  after- 
wards find  queens  among  the  Arabians  in  the  eighth 
and  seventh  centuries  B.C.  :  Zabibieh,  Samsieh,  and 
Adijah,  and  even  at  the  head  of  the  tribes  of  the 
desert.  To  this  day  the  East  preserves  the  memory 
of  the  wise  king  Solomon,  who,  in  their  legends  and 
stories,  has  at  the  same  time  become  a  great  magician 
and  exorcist. 

However  great  the  splendour  of  Israel  in  Solomon's 
reign,  this  advance  was  not  without  a  darker  side. 
The  new  paths  in  which  Solomon  led  his  people 
brought  the  Israelites  comfort  and  opulence,  the 
advantages  and  impulses  of  a  higher  civilisation  and 
more  active  intellectual  life.  But  with  the  splendour 
and  luxury  of  the  court,  and  the  increasing  wealth, 


the  old  simplicity  of  manners  disappeared.  The  land 
had  to  bear  the  burden  of  a  rule  which  was  completely 
assimilated  to  the  forms  of  court  life,  and  the  mode  of 
government  established  in  Egypt  and  Syria,  in  Babylon 
and  Assyria.  The  court,  the  army  and  the  buildings 
required  heavy  sums  and  services,  and  these  for  the 
most  part  had  to  be  paid  and  undertaken  by  the  people. 
Solomon  not  only  imposed  on  the  tribes  the  mainten- 
ance of  his  standing  troops,  the  cavalry  and  the 
chariots,  he  also  demanded  that  they  should  support 
the  court  by  contributions  in  kind.  This  service  was 
not  inconsiderable.  Each  day  30  Kor  of  fine  and  60 
Kor  of  ordinary  meal  were  required,  10  stalled  oxen, 
and  20  oxen  from  the  pasture,  and  100  head  of  small 
cattle.  Besides  this,  deer  and  fallow-deer,  gazelles 
and  fed  geese  were  supplied.  The  assistance  which 
Hiram  king  of  Tyre  gave  to  Solomon's  buildings,  the 
wood  from  Lebanon,  had  to  be  paid  for ;  each  year 
20,000  Kor  of  wheat  and  20,000  Bath  of  oil  and  wine 
were  sent  to  Tyre,  and  this  the  Israelites  had  to  provide. 
Further,  the  people  had  to  pay  a  regular  yearly  tax  in 
money  to  the  king.1  Still  more  oppressive  was  the 
task-work  for  the  buildings  of  the  king.  It  is  true  that 
the  remnant  of  the  tribes  subject  to  the  Israelites,  the 
Amorites,  Hittites,  Hivites  and  Jebusites,  were  taken 
chiefly  for  these  tasks,  for  Solomon  had  compelled 
them  to  do  constant  task- work,2  but  the  Israelites 
themselves  were  also  employed  in  great  numbers  in  the 

1  1  Kings  iv.  22,  23,  26—28. 

2  1  Kings  ix.  20,  21.     In  order  to  prove  that  Solomon  used  these 
and  no  others  for  his  workmen,  the  Chronicles  (2,  ii.  16,  17)  reckon 
this  remnant  at  153,000  men,  i.  e.  exactly  at  the  number  of  task  work- 
men with  their  overseers  given  in  the  Book  of  Kings.     According  to 
this  the  incredible  number  of  half  a  million  of  Canaanites  must  have 
settled  among  the  Israelites.     The  general  assertion  of  the  Books  of 
Kings  (1,  ix.  22)  is  supported  by  the  detailed  evidence  in  the  same 
books,  1,  v.  13  ;  xi.  28;  xii.  4  ff. 

VOL.    II.  O 

194  ISKAEL. 

building.  Over  each  tribe  of  Israel  Solomon  placed  an 
overseer  of  the  task-work,  and  these  overseers  were  all 
subordinate  to  Adoniram,  the  chief  task-master.  The 
Israelites  summoned  for  these  services  are  said  to  have 
had  two  months'  rest  after  one  month  of  work,  and  there 
was  a  regular  system  of  release.  In  the  years  when 
the  buildings  were  carried  on  with  the  greatest  vigour, 
80,000  workmen  are  said  to  have  been  engaged  in  fell- 
ing wood  in  Lebanon,  in  quarrying  and  hewing  stones 
under  Tyrian  artisans,  while  70,000  others  carried  out 
the  transport  of  this  material.  Though  the  workmen 
were  constantly  changed  and  the  extension  of  the  task 
was  not  unendurable,  these  burdens  were  unusual  and 
certainly  undesirable.  In  order  to  introduce  regu- 
larity into  the  payments  in  kind  and  the  taxes  of  the 
land,  the  country  was  divided  into  twelve  districts, — 
no  doubt  on  the  basis  of  the  territorial  possessions  of 
the  tribes, — and  over  these  royal  officers  were  placed. 
Each  district  had  to  provide  the  requirements  of  the 
royal  house  for  one  month  in  the  year.  These  over- 
seers of  the  districts  were  subordinate  to  a  head  over- 
seer, Azariah,  the  son  of  that  Nathan  to  whom,  next 
to  his  mother,  Solomon  owed  the  throne.1  Yet  in 
spite  of  all  the  services  of  subjects,  in  spite  of  all 
means  of  receipts,  Solomon's  expenditure  was  in  excess 
of  his  income.  When  the  settlement  with  Hiram'fol- 
lowed  the  completion  of  the  building  of  the  temple  and 
palace,  it  was  found  that  Hiram  had  still  120  Kikkars 
of  gold  to  receive.  As  Solomon  could  not  pay  the 
sum,  he  ceded  to  Tyre  twenty  Israelite  places  on  the 
border.  No  doubt  the  king  of  Tyre  was  well  pleased  to 
complete  and  round  off  his  territory  on  the  mainland.2 

1  1  Kings  iv.  11—15;  v.  13—18. 

2  1  Kings  ix.  10 — 14.     The  contradictory  statement  in   Chronicles 
(2,  via.  2)  cannot  be  taken  into  consideration. 


The  example  of  a  lavish  and  luxurious  court,  the 
spectacle  of  a  crowded  harem,  the  influence  and  de- 
meanour of  these  females,  was  not  only  injurious  to  the 
morals  of  the  people,  but  to  their  religious  conduct. 
If  the  national  elevation  of  the  Israelites  under  Saul 
and  David  had  forced  back  the  foreign  rites  which  had 
taken  a  place  after  the  settlement  beside  the  worship  of 
Jehovah,  it  is  now  the  court  which  adopts  the  culture 
and  manners  of  the  Phenicians  and  Syrians,  and  by 
which  the  worship  of  strange  gods  in  Israel  again  be- 
comes prominent.  Among  the  wives  of  the  king  many 
were  from  Sidon,  Ammon,  Moab  and  Edom.  Solomon 
may  have  considered  it  wise  to  display  tolerance  towards 
the  worship  of  the  tributary  nations,  but  it  was  going 
far  beyond  tolerance  when  the  king,  who  had  built 
such  a  richly-adorned  and  costly  temple  to  the  national 
god  of  Israel,  erected,  in  order  to  please  these  women, 
altars  and  shrines  to  Astarte  of  Sidon,  to  Camus  of  the 
Moabites,  and  Milcom  of  the  Ammonites.1 

Yet  the  impulse  which  Solomon's  reign  gave  to  the 
worship  of  Jehovah  was  far  the  most  predominant. 
It  is  true  that  the  idea  of  raising  a  splendid  temple  to 
Jehovah  in  Jerusalem  arose  out  of  the  model  of  the 
temple-service  of  the  Phenicians  and  Philistines  and 
their  magnificent  rites  (I.  367),  whereas  the  Israelites 
hitherto  had  known  nothing  but  places  for  sacrifice 
on  altars  on  the  heights  and  under  the  oaks, — nothing 
but  a  sacred  tent.  The  temple  itself  was  an  approxi- 
mation to  the  worship  of  the  Syrians ;  but  it  was  at 
the  same  time  the  completion  of  the  work  begun  by 
David.  This  building  of  the  temple  was  the  most 

1  1  Kings  xi.  4—9,  33.  Though  this  account  belongs  to  times  no 
earlier  than  the  author  of  Deuteronomy,  yet  since  the  destruction  of 
these  places  of  worship  "  set  up  by  Solomon"  is  expressly  mentioned 
under  Josiah  (2  Kings  xxiii.  13),  it  cannot  be  doubted. 


196  ISRAEL. 

important  of  the  acts  of  Solomon  during  his  reign, 
and  an  undertaking,  which  in  its  origin  was  to  some 
degree  at  variance  with  national  feeling,  not  only  con- 
tributed to  the  maintenance  of  the  national  religion,  but 
also  had  very  considerable  influence  upon  its  develop- 
ment. Solomon,  after  his  manner,  may  have  had  the 
splendour  and  glory  of  the  structure  chiefly  in  view, 
— yet  just  as  the  monarchy  comprised  the  political  life 
of  the  nation,  so  did  the  specious,  magnificent  temple 
centralise  the  religious  life  of  the  nation,  even  more  than 
David's  sacred  tent.  By  this  the  old  places  of  sacrifice 
were  forced  into  the  shade,  and  even  more  rarely  visited. 
The  building  of  the  temple  increased  the  preponder- 
ance of  the  sacrifice  offered  in  the  metropolis.  The 
priests  of  the  altars  in  the  country,  who  mostly  lived 
upon  their  share  in  the  sacrifices,  turned  to  Jerusalem, 
and  took  up  their  dwelling  in  the  city.  Here  they 
already  found  the  priesthood,  which  had  gathered 
round  Abiathar  and  Zadok  (p.  164).  The  union  of  a 
large  number  of  priestly  families  at  Jerusalem,  under  the 
guidance  of  the  high  priest  appointed  already  by  David, 
caused  the  feeling  and  the  consciousness  of  the  solid 
community  and  corporate  nature  of  their  order  to  rise 
in  these  men,  while  the  priests  had  previously  lived  an 
isolated  life,  at  the  places  of  sacrifice  among  the  people, 
and  hardly  distinguished  from  them,  and  thus  they  were 
led  to  a  far  more  earnest  and  systematic  performance  of 
the  sacred  worship.  It  was  easy  to  make  use  of  the 
number  of  priests  already  in  existence  in  order  to  give 
to  the  rites  the  richer  and  more  brilliant  forms  which 
the  splendour  and  dignity  of  the  temple  required.  For 
this  object  the  arrangements  of  the  sacred  service  must 
be  divided,  and  the  sacred  acts  allotted  to  special 
sections  of  the  priests  at  hand. 


The  organisation  of  the  priesthood  needed  for  these 
divisions  was  naturally  brought  about  by  the  fact  that 
those  entrusted  with  the  office  of  high  priest  supposed 
themselves  to  be  descendants  of  Aaron,  and  that  even 
in  David's  reign  these  had  been  joined  by  the  priests 
who  claimed  to  be  of  the  same  origin.  These  families, 
the  descendants  of  Eleazar  and  Ithamar,  retained  the 
essential  arrangements  of  the  sacrifice  and  the  expia- 
tion, the  priesthood  in  the  stricter  sense.  Even  the 
families,  who  side  by  side  with  these  are  said  to  have 
belonged  to  the  race  of  Aaron,  which,  like  Aaron,  are 
said  to  have  sprung  from  the  branch  of  Kohath,  were 
not  any  longer  admitted  to  this  service.  The  priestly 
families  of  this  and  other  origin,  which  are  first  found 
at  a  later  date  in  Jerusalem,  who  retained  their  dwell- 
ing outside  Jerusalem,  were  united  with  the  races  of 
Gershom  and  Merari,  and  to  them,  as  to  the  families 
of  the  race  of  Kohath  which  did  not  come  through 
Aaron,  were  transferred  the  lesser  services  in  the 
worship  and  in  the  very  complicated  ritual.  Those 
men  of  these  races  who  were  acquainted  with  music 
and  singing,  together  with  such  musicians  as  were  not 
of  priestly  blood,  were  also  divided  into  sections. 
They  had  to  accompany  the  sacrifice  and  acts  of 
religious  worship  with  sacred  songs  and  the  harp. 
Others  were  made  overseers  of  the  sacred  vessels  and 
the  dedicatory  offerings,  others  set  apart  for  the  puri- 
fication of  the  sanctuary  and  for  door-keepers.  All 
these  services  were  hereditary  in  the  combinations  of 
families  allotted  to  them.  This  organisation  of  the 
priesthood  cannot  have  come  into  existence,  as  the 
tradition  tells  us,  immediately  after  the  completion  of 
the  temple  ;  it  can  only  have  taken  place  as  the  effects 
of  a  splendid  centre  of  worship  in  the  metropolis  of 

198  ISRAEL. 

the  kingdom  became  more  widely  felt,  and  was  finally 
brought  to  completion  under  the  guidance  of  the 
priests  attending  on  the  sacred  ark.1 

Thus  there  was  connected  with  the  building  of  the 
temple  by  Solomon,  not  only  the  reunion  of  the  families 
of  the  tribe  of  Levi — if  these  even  previously  had  formed 
a  separate  tribe  ; — by  means  of  adoption  from  all  the 
families  which  for  generations  had  been  dedicated  to 
the  sacred  rites,  the  formation  and  separation  of  the 
priestly  order  became  perfect.2  At  first,  without  any 
independent  position,  this  order  was  dependent  on  the 
protection  of  the  monarchy,  which  built  the  temple  for 
it,  and  the  importance  of  the  priests  was  increased  with 
the  splendour  of  the  worship.  At  the  head  of  the  new 
order  stood  the  priests  of  the  ark  of  Jehovah,  who  had 
already,  in  earlier  times,  maintained  a  pre-eminent 
position,  which  was  now  increased  considerably  by  the 
reform  in  the  worship.  But  they  also  were  dependent 
on  the  court,  though  they  soon  came  to  exercise  a 
certain  influence  upon  it.  As  David  had  made  Zadok 
and  Abiathar  high  priests,  so  Solomon  removed 
Abiathar  and  transferred  the  highest  priestly  office  to 
Zadok,  of  the  branch  of  Eleazar.  Far  more  important 
than  the  position  of  the  priesthood  at  the  court  was 
the  feeling  and  consciousness  of  the  mission  given  to 

1  1  Chron.  xxiv. — xxvii.     Here,  as  is  usual  in  the  Chronicles,  the 
division  of  the  priests  is  given  systematically,  and  the  idea  of  such  a 
division  is  ascribed  to  the  last  years  of  David.     "The  Levites  were 
numbered  according  to  David's  last  commands,"  1  Chron.  xxiv. ;  cf. 
cap.  xxvii.      Throughout  the  Chronicles  make  a  point  of  exhibiting 
David  as  the  originator,  and  Solomon  as  the  executive  instrument. 
We  must  content  ourselves  with  the  result  that  the  temple  is  of  decisive 
importance  in  separating  the  priests  from  the  people,  and  for  gathering 
together  and  organising  the  order. 

2  It  appears  that  the  lists  of  the  priestly  families  were  taken  down 
in  writing  when  the  organisation  of  the  order  was  concluded:  Nehem. 
vii.  64. 


them,  of  the  duties  and  rights,  to  which  the  priesthood 
attained  when  combined  in  the  new  society.  As  they 
were  at  pains  to  practise  a  worship  pleasing  to  Jehovah, 
they  succeeded  even  before  Solomon  in  discovering  an 
established  connection  between  the  past  and  the  pre- 
sent of  the  nation,  in  recognising  the  covenant  which 
Jehovah  had  made  with  his  people.  From  isolated 
records,  traditions,  and  old  customs  they  collected  the 
law  of  ritual  in  the  manner  which  they  considered  as 
established  from  antiquity,  the  observation  of  which 
was,  from  their  point  of  view,  the  maintenance  of  the 
covenant  into  which  Israel  had  entered  with  his  God. 
This  was  the  light  in  which,  even  in  David's  time,  the 
fortunes  of  Israel  appeared  to  the  priests,  and  from 
this  point  of  view  they  were  recorded  in  the  first 
decade  of  David's  reign.  The  order  which  the  priests 
required  for  the  worship,  its  unity,  centralisation  and 
adornment,  the  exact  obedience  to  the  ritual  which  was 
considered  by  them  true  and  pleasing  to  God,  the  posi- 
tion which  the  priesthood  had  now  obtained,  or  claimed, 
appeared  to  them  as  already  ordained  and  current  in  the 
time  when  Jehovah  saved  his  people  with  a  mighty 
arm,  and  led  them  from  Egypt  to  Canaan.  They  had 
been  thrust  into  the  background  and  forgotten,  owing 
to  the  guilt  and  backsliding  of  later  times.  Now  the 
time  was  come  to  establish  in  power  the  true  and 
ancient  ordinances  of  Moses  in  real  earnest,  and  to 
restore  them.  It  was  of  striking  ethical  importance, 
that  by  these  views  the  present  was  placed  in  near 
relation  and  the  closest  combination  with  a  sublime 
antiquity,  with  the  foundation  of  the  religious  ordi- 
nances. The  impulse  to  religious  feeling  which  arose 
out  of  these  views  and  efforts  found  expression  in  a 
lyrical  poetry  of  penetrating  force.  David  had  not 
only  attempted  simple  songs,  but  also,  as  we  have  seen, 

200  ISRAEL. 

more  extended  invocations  of  Jehovah  ;  and  the  skilled 
musical  accompaniment  which  now  came  to  the  aid  of 
religious  song  in  the  families  of  the  musicians,  must 
have  contributed  to  still  greater  elevation  and  choice 
of  expression.  The  intensity  of  religious  feeling  and 
its  expression  in  sacred  songs  must  also  have  come  into 
contact  more  especially  with  that  impulse  which  had 
hitherto  been  represented  in  the  seers  and  prophets, 
who  believed  that  they  apprehended  the  will  of 
Jehovah  in  their  own  breasts,  and,  in  consequence  of 
their  favoured  relation  to  him,  understood  his  com- 
mands by  virtue  of  internal  illumination.  All  these 
impulses  operated  beyond  the  priestly  order.  In 
union  with  the  lofty  spiritual  activity  of  the  people, 
they  led,  in  the  first  instance,  to  the  result  that  in 
the  last  years  of  Solomon  the  annalistic  account  of 
the  fortunes  of  the  people  and  the  record  of  the  law 
was  accompanied  by  a  narrative  of  greater  liveliness, 
of  a  deeper  and  clearer  view  of  the  divine  and  human 
nature  (I.  386),  which  at  the  same  time,  in  the  fate 
of  Joseph,  gave  especial  prominence  to  the  newly- 
obtained  knowledge  of  Egyptian  life,  the  service 
rendered  by  the  daughter  of  the  king  of  Egypt  to  the 
great  leader  of  Israel  in  the  ancient  times,  the  bless- 
ing derived  from  the  friendly  relations  of  Israel  and 
Egypt,  and  the  distress  brought  upon  Egypt  by  the 
breach  with  Israel. 



OUT  of  the  peculiar  relation  in  which  Israel  stood  from 
all  antiquity  to  his  God,  out  of  the  protection  and 
prosperity  which  he  had  granted  to  the  patriarchs 
and  their  seed,  out  of  the  liberation  from  the  oppres- 
sion of  the  Egyptians,  which  Jehovah  had  prepared 
for  the  Israelites  with  a  strong  arm,  out  of  the  bestowal 
of  Canaan,  i.  e.  the  promise  of  Jehovah  to  conquer  the 
land,  which  the  Israelites  had  now  possessed  for 
centuries,  there  grew  up  in  the  circles  of  the  priests, 
from  about  the  time  of  Samuel,  the  idea  of  the  covenant 
which  Jehovah  had  made  with  the  patriarchs,  and 
through  them  with  Israel.  Jehovah  had  assured 
Israel  of  his  protection  and  blessing;  on  the  other  hand, 
Israel  had  undertaken  to  serve  him,  to  obey  his  com- 
mands, and  do  his  will.  If  Israel  lives  according  to 
the  command  of  Jehovah,  the  blessing  of  his  God  will 
certainly  be  his  in  the  future  also  ;  the  reward  of  true 
service  will  not  and  cannot  be  withheld  from  him. 
The  will  of  Jehovah  which  Israel  has  to  obey,  the  law 
of  Jehovah  which  he  has  to  fulfil,  was  contained  in 
the  moral  precepts,  the  rules  of  law,  and  rubrics  for 
purification  and  sacrifice,  the  writing  down  of  which  in 
the  frame-work  of  a  brief  account  of  the  fortunes  of 
the  fathers,  the  slavery  in  Egypt,  the  liberation  and 
the  conquest  of  Canaan,  on  the  basis  of  older  sketches 

202  ISRAEL. 

of  separate  parts,  was  brought  to  a  conclusion  at 
Hebron,  in  the  priestly  families  of  the  tribe  of  Aaron, 
about  the  first  decade  of  David's  reign  (I.  385).  In 
this  writing  were  laid  down  the  views  held  by  the 
priesthood  on  the  life  pleasing  to  God,  on  the  past  of 
the  nation  and  the  priests,  and  of  the  correct  mode  of 
worship.  It  was  the  ideal  picture  of  conduct  in  morals, 
law  and  worship  which  the  priests  strove  after,  which 
must  in  any  case  have  existed  in  that  great  period 
when  Jehovah  spoke  to  the  Israelites  by  the  mouth  of 
Moses.  And,  as  a  fact,  the  foundations  of  the  moral 
law,  the  fundamental  rules  of  law  and  customs  of 
sacrifice,  as  we  found  above  (I.  484),  do  go  back  to  that 
time  of  powerful  movement  of  the  national  feeling,  of 
lofty  exaltation  of  religious  emotion  against  the  dreary 
polytheism  of  Egypt. 

It  is  doubtful,  whether  the  families  of  the  priests  and 
sacrificial  servants  who  traced  back  their  lineage  to  Levi, 
the  son  of  Jacob  (p.  197),  and  were  now  united  by  David 
and  Solomon  for  service  at  the  sacred  tabernacle,  for 
sacrifice  and  attendance  at  the  temple,  had  of  antiquity 
formed  a  separate  tribe,  which  afterwards  became  dis- 
persed (I.  488), — or  if  this  tribe  first  was  united  under 
the  impression  made  by  the  idea  of  true  priesthood, 
which  those  writings  denoted  as  an  example  and 
pattern,  and  under  the  influence  of  the  change  intro- 
duced by  the  foundation  of  a  central-point  for  the 
worship  of  Israel  in  the  tabernacle  of  David,  and  then 
in  the  temple  of  Solomon,  for  the  priestly  families 
scattered  through  the  land,  by  means  of  a  gradual 
union  of  the  priestly  families ;  at  all  events,  a  position 
at  least  equal  in  dignity  to  the  rest  of  the  tribes  ought 
to  be  found  for  the  tribe  of  Levi,  which  knew  the  will 
and  law  of  Jehovah,  and  the  correct  mode  of  sacrifice. 
It  was  not  indeed  possible  in  Israel  to  give  the  first 


and  most  ancient  place  to  the  tribe  of  the  priests,  as 
has  been  done  in  other  nations  where  a  division  of 
orders  has  crystallised  into  hereditary  tribes.  In  the 
memory  of  the  nation  Reuben  was  the  first-born  tribe, 
i.  e.  the  complex  of  the  oldest  families,  the  oldest 
element  of  the  nation,  and  the  importance  of  the 
tribes  derived  from  Joseph  and  the  tribe  of  Judah  in 
and  after  the  conquest  of  Canaan  was  so  firmly  fixed 
that  the  tribe  of  Levi  could  not  hope  to  contend  with 
them  successfully  in  the  question  of  antiquity.  But 
what  was  wanting  in  rank  of  derivation  could  be 
made  up  by  special  blessings  given  by  Jehovah,  and 
by  peculiar  sanctity.  According  to  an  old  conception 
the  first-born  male  belonged  to  Jehovah.  In  the 
sketch  of  'the  fortunes  of  Israel  and  of  the  law, 
Jehovah  says  to  Moses,  he  will  accept  the  tribe  of 
Levi  in  place  of  the  first-born  males  of  the  people. 
The  number  of  the  first-born  males  of  one  month  old 
of  all  the  other  tribes  was  taken — they  reached  22,373 ; 
the  number  of  all  the  men  and  boys  down  to  the  age 
of  one  month  in  the  tribe  of  Levi  was  22,000.  These 
22,000  Levites  Jehovah  took  in  the  place  of  the  first- 
born of  the  people,  and  the  remaining  373  were  ran- 
somed from  Jehovah  at  the  price  of  five  shekels  of 
silver  for  each  person.1  Thus  the  Levites  were  raised 
by  Jehovah  to  be  the  first-born  tribe  of  Israel.  Levi 
was  the  tribe  which  Jehovah  had  selected  for  his 
service,  the  chosen  tribe  of  a  chosen  nation.  Moses 
and  Aaron  were  of  this  tribe,  and  if,  instead  of  a  few 
families  who  stood  beside  Moses  when  he  led  Israel 
out  of  Egypt,  and  restored  the  worship  of  the  tribal 
deity,  the  whole  tribe  of  Levi  was  represented  as 
active  in  his  behalf,  and  as  a  supporter  of  Moses,  the 
consecration  of  age  was  not  wanting  to  this  tribe,  and 

1  Exod.  xiii.  2 ;  Numbers  iii.  5 — 51 ;  viii.  16. 

204  ISRAEL. 

reverence  was  naturally  paid  to  it  in  return  for  such 
ancient  services. 

The  Levites  were  not  to  busy  themselves  with  care 
for  their  maintenance,  they  were  not  to  work  for  hire, 
or  possess  any  property ;  they  were  to  occupy  them- 
selves exclusively  with  their  sacred  duties.  Instead  of 
inheritance  Jehovah  was  to  be  their  heritage.1  It  is 
true  that  the  plan  for  the  maintenance  of  the  tribe  of 
Levi,  sketched  in  the  first  text  on  the  occasion  of  the 
division  of  Canaan,  the  48  cities  allotted  to  them  in  the 
lands  of  the  other  twelve  tribes  (13  for  the  priests  and 
35  for  the  assistant  Levites2),  could  never  be  carried 
out ;  yet  claims  might  be  founded  on  it.  Moreover, 
the  necessary  means  for  support  were  supplied  in 
other  ways.  The  firstlings  of  corn,  fruits,  the  vintage, 
the  olive  tree,  were  offered  by  being  laid  on  the  altar. 
No  inconsiderable  portion  of  other  offerings  was  pre- 
sented in  the  same  manner.  All  these  gifts  could  be 
applied  by  the  priests  to  their  own  purposes.3  But  by 
far  the  most  fruitful  source  of  income  for  the  priesthood 
was  the  tithe  of  the  produce  of  the  fields,  which  was 
offered  according  to  an  ancient  custom  to  Jehovah  as 
his  share  of  the  harvest.  The  law  required  that  a 
tenth  of  corn,  and  wine,  and  oils,  and  of  all  other 
fruits,  and  the  tenth  head  of  all  new-born  domestic 
animals,  should  be  given  to  the  priests.4  The  statements 
of  the  prophets  and  the  evidence  of  the  historical  books 
prove  that  the  tithes  were  offered  as  a  rule,  though 
not  invariably.  As  the  Levites  who  were  not  priests 
had  no  share  in  the  sacrifices,  the  law  provided  that 
the  tithe  should  go  to  them,  but  the  Levites  were  in 
turn  to  restore  a  tenth  part  of  these  tithes  to  the 
priests.  Finally,  the  law  required  that  a  portion  of 

1  Numbers  xviii.  20—26.  2  Vol.  i.  488,  502. 

3  Numbers  xviii.  8—20.  4  Levit,  xxvii.  29—33. 


the  booty  taken  in  war  should  go  to  the  Levites ; 
that  in  all  numberings  of  the  people  and  levies  each 
person  should  pay  a  sum  to  the  temple  for  the  ransom 
of  his  life.1 

Only  the  descendants  of  Aaron  could  take  part 
in  the  most  important  parts  of  the  ceremonial  of  sacri- 
fice. From  his  twenty-fifth  or  thirtieth  year  to  his 
fiftieth  every  Levite  was  subject  to  the  temple  service.2 
The  law  prescribed  a  formal  dedication,  with  purifica- 
tions, expiations,  sacrifices,  and  symbolical  actions  for 
the  exercise  of  the  lower  as  well  as  the  higher  priest- 
hood, for  the  offering  of  sacrifice  and  the  sprinkling 
of  the  blood  as  well  as  for  the  due  performance  of  the 
door-keeping.  At  the  dedication  of  a  priest  these 
ceremonies  lasted  for  seven  days,  but  the  chief  import 
of  the  ritual  was  to  denote  the  future  priest  himself  as 
a  sacrifice  offered  to  Jehovah.  Only  those  might  be 
dedicated  who  were  free  from  any  bodily  blemish. 
"  A  blind  man,  or  a  lame,  or  he  that  hath  a  flat  nose, 
or  anything  superfluous,  or  a  man  that  is  broken- 
footed,  or  broken-handed,  or  crook-backt,  or  a  dwarf, 
or  that  hath  a  blemish  in  his  eye,  or  be  scurvy,  or 
scabbed,  or  hath  his  stones  broken  shall  not  come  nigh 
to  offer  the  offering  of  the  Lord  made  by  fire."  3 

No  priest  was  to  make  baldness  on  his  head  or  shave 
off  the  corners  of  his  beard,  or  make  any  cuttings  in  his 
flesh  ; 4  before  the  sacrifice  he  might  not  take  wine  or 
any  intoxicating  drink ;  he  was  required  to  devote 
himself  to  especial  purity  and  cleanliness,  and  observe 
in  a  stricter  degree  the  laws  concerning  food ;  he  might 
not  marry  a  widow  or  a  woman  divorced  from  her 
husband,  still  less  a  harlot ;  he  was  to  avoid  most 

1  Genesis  xiv.  20;  xxviii.  22. 

*  Exod.  xxx.  11—16;  xxxviii.  25—28. 

3  Levit.  xxi.  16—21.  4  Levit.  xxi.  5. 

206  ISRAEL.  '. 

carefully  any  contact  with  a  corpse  :  only  in  the  case  of 
his  nearest  relatives  was  this  defilement  allowed.  The 
clothing  of  the  priests  was  definitely  prescribed.  He 
must  wear  a  robe  of  white  linen  (byssus),  woven  in 
one  piece  ;  and  this  robe  was  held  together  by  a  girdle 
of  three  colours,  red,  blue  and  white.  The  priest  also 
wore  a  band  of  white  linen  round  his  head,  and  trousers 
of  white  linen  in  order  that  he  might  not  discover  his 
nakedness  when  he  ascended  the  steps  of  the  altar.1 

The  foremost  place  among  the  consecrated  priests 
was  occupied  by  the  high  priest.  He  alone  had  the 
right  to  enter  the  inner  space  of  the  sanctuary,  the 
cell  in  which  stood  the  ark  of  the  covenant — the  other 
priests  could  enter  the  outer  space  only ;  he  alone 
could  offer  sacrifice  in  the  name  of  the  whole  people, 
he  alone  could  announce  the  will  and  oracle  of  Jehovah, 
and  consecrate  the  priests.  The  ritual  for  the  high 
priest  was  most  strict.  In  the  belief  of  the  Hebrews 
the  most  accurate  knowledge  and  the  most  careful 
circumspection  was  needed  in  order  to  offer  an  effective 
sacrifice  and  avoid  arousing  the  anger  of  Jehovah  by 
some  omission  in  the  rite,  and  if  the  law  required  of  all 
priests  that  they  should  devote  themselves  to  especial 
purity  and  holiness,  this  demand  was  made  with 
peculiar  severity  upon  the  high  priest.  He  might 
marry  only  with  a  pure  virgin  of  the  stock  of  his 
kindred ;  he  must  keep  himself  so  far  from  all  defile- 
ment that  he  might  not  touch  the  corpse  even  of  his 
father  and  his  mother ;  he  might  not,  on  any  occasion, 
rend  his  garments  in  sorrow.  The  distinguishing  garb 
of  the  high  priest  was  a  robe  of  blue  linen,  which  on 
the  edge  was  adorned  with  pomegranates  and  bells ; 
the  bells  were  intended,  as  the  law  says,  to  announce 
the  coming  of  the  priest  to  the  God  who  dwelt  in  the 

1  Exod.  xx.  26. 


shrine  of  the  temple,  that  the  priest  might  not  die.1 
Over  this  robe  the  high  priest  wore  a  short  wrapper, 
the  so-called  ephod  or  shoulder-garment,  and  on  his 
breast  in  front  the  tablet  with  the  holy  Urim  and 
Thuminim,  by  means  of  which  he  inquired  of  Jehovah, 
if  the  king  or  any  one  from  the  people  asked  for  an 
oracle.  The  other  priests  also,  at  least  in  more  ancient 
times,  wore  the  ephod  with  the  Urim  and  Thummim; 
but  the  ephod  of  the  high  priest  was  fastened  on  the 
shoulders  by  two  precious  stones,  and  the  front  side  of 
his  breastplate  was  made  of  twelve  precious  stones  set 
in  gold,  on  which  were  engraved  the  names  of  the 
twelve  tribes.  The  head-band  of  the  high  priest  was 
distinguished  from  that  of  the  other  priests  by  a  plate 
of  gold  bearing  the  inscription,  "  Holy  is  Jehovah ; " 
he  might  not  even  uncover  his  head.2 

The  mode  of  worship  was  regulated  by  the  law  in 
a  systematic  manner.  Beside  the  Sabbath,  on  keeping 
which  the  law  laid  special  stress,  and  regarded  it  as  a 
symbol  of  the  relation  of  Israel  to  Jehovah,  the  Israel- 
ites celebrated  feasts  at  the  new  moon  and  the  full 
moon,3  and  held  three  great  national  festivals  in  the 
year.  These  festivals  marked  in  the  first  instance 
certain  divisions  of  the  natural  year.  Yet  the  first, 
the  festival  of  spring,  had  from  ancient  times  a  peculiar 
religious  significance.  It  has  been  remarked  above 
that  at  the  spring  festival  not  only  were  the  firstlings 
of  the  harvest,  the  first  ears  of  corn,  offered  to  the 
tribal  God,  but  that  also,  as  at  the  beginning  of  a 
new  season  of  fertility,  a  sin  offering,  the  vicarious 
sacrifice  of  a  lamb,  was  made  for  the  first-born  which 

1  Exod.  xxviii.  31—35 ;  xxxix.  22—27. 

2  Exod.  xxviii.  4—30,  36—43. 

3  1  Sam.  xx.  5,  24,  27,  and  many  passages  in  the  prophets ;  Numbers 
xxviii.  11 ;  xxix.  6  ;  Ewald,  "  Alterthiimer,"  s.  360. 

208  ISRAEL. 

were  not  offered.  The  spring  festival  was  also  the 
festival  of  the  sparing  of  the  first-born,  the  Passah  or 
passover  of  Jehovah  (I.  414).  The  priestly  ordinance, 
which  sought  to  give  a  definite  historical  cause  for 
the  customs  of  the  festival,  and  to  mark  the  favours 
which  Jehovah  had  granted  to  his  people,  connects 
the  old  usages  of  this  festival  with  the  exodus  from 
Egypt,  and  we  have  already  seen  how  from  this  point 
of  view  old  ceremonies  of  this  festival  were  trans- 
formed, and  new  ones  were  added  (I.  445).  As  the 
spring  festival  was  kept  in  the  first  month  of  the 
Hebrew  year,  Nisan  (March — April)  (it  began  on  the 
evening  of  the  day  after  the  new  moon,  at  the  rise  of 
the  full  moon,  when  the  sun  is  in  the  Ram),  the 
exodus  from  Egypt  was  supposed  to  have  taken  place 
on  the  morning  which  followed  this  night.  The 
Passah  continued  for  seven  days,  in  which,  from  the 
morning  of  the  second  day  to  the  evening  of  the 
seventh,  only  unleavened  bread  could  be  eaten,  i.  e. 
the  firstlings  of  the  corn  in  their  original  form,  and  no 
business  could  be  carried  on.  On  each  of  the  seven 
days  of  the  feast,  according  to  the  law,  two  young  bulls, 
a  ram  and  seven  yearling  lambs  were  offered  as  a  burnt 
offering  for  Israel  in  the  temple,  and  besides  these  a 
goat,  as  a  sin  offering.  The  neglect  of  the  festival, 
the  eating  of  leavened  bread  on  any  of  the  days,  was 
threatened  by  the  law  with  extirpation  from  the  com- 
munity.1 As  the  greater  number  of  the  tribes  attained 
to  a  settled  life  and  agriculture,  the  feast  of  the  ripe 
fruits  or  harvest  naturally  rose  to  importance  beside 
this  festival  of  the  earliest  fruits.  Seven  full  weeks 
after  the  commencement  of  the  Passah,  or  six  weeks 
after  the  end  of  it,  the  feast  of  new  bread  was  cele- 
brated. The  sheaves  were  brought,  the  corn  trodden 

1  Exod.  xii  15—19;  Numbers  ix.  13;  xxviii.  16—24. 


out,  the  first  new  meal  prepared.  According  to  the 
law,  each  house  in  Israel,  i.  e.,  no  doubt,  each  which 
possessed  land  and  flocks,  had  to  bring  two  leavened 
firstling  loaves  of  new  wheaten  meal  and  two  yearling 
lambs  as  a  thank  offering.  Before  these  were  offered 
no  one  could  eat  bread  made  from  the  new  corn.1  The 
festival  of  autumn,  which  took  place  in  the  seventh 
month  of  the  Hebrew  year  (September — October),  from 
the  fourteenth  to  the  twenty-first  day  of  the  month, 
was  merrier  and  of  longer  duration.  It  was  the 
festival  of  the  completion  of  the  in-gathering,  and  of 
the  vintage,  and  consequently  can  hardly  go  back 
beyond  the.  time  of  the  settlement  in  Canaan.2  It 
was  customary  to  erect  arbours  of  palm  leaves,  willows, 
and  oak  branches,  as  was  indeed  necessary  at  a  time 
when  men  were  occupied  in  remote  orchards  and  vine- 
yards, and  in  these  the  feast  was  kept,  unless  it  was 
preferred  to  keep  it  at  some  important  place  of 
sacrifice,  in  order  to  offer  the  thank  offering  there,3  and 
in  this  case  those  who  came  to  the  feast  also  passed 
the  day  in  tents  or  arbours.  Like  the  feast  of  spring, 
the  feast  of  tabernacles  continued  for  seven  days. 
According  to  the  law,  Israel  was  to  offer  70  bulls,  14 
rams,  and  seven  times  14  lambs  at  this  festival  as  a 
burnt  offering.  To  this  feast  also  a  historical  mean- 
ing was  given ;  the  tabernacles  were  erected  to 
remind  Israel  of  the  fact  that  he  had  once  dwelt  in 
tents  in  the  wilderness. 

At  these  three  festivals,  "  thrice  in  the  year,  all 
the  males  of  Israel  must  appear  before  Jehovah." 4 
Such  was  the  law  of  the  priests.  It  was  the  intention 

1  Levit.  xxii.  9—21. 

2  At  the  division  of  the  kingdom  Jeroboam  is  said  to  have  changed 
this  festival  to  the  fifteenth  day  of  the  eighth  month ;   1  Kings  xii.  33. 

3  E.g.  1  Sam.  i.  3 ;  1  Kings  xii.  27—32. 
*  Exod.  xxiii.  13;  xxxiv.  23. 

VOL.   II.  P 

210  ISRAEL. 

of  the  priests  that  the  three  great  festivals  should 
be  celebrated  at  the  dwelling  of  Jehovah,  i.  e.  at 
the  tabernacle,  and  afterwards  at  the  temple ;  hence 
at  the  great  festivals  the  Israelites  were  to  go  to 
Jerusalem.  But  the  strict  carrying  out  of  such  a 
common  celebration  was  opposed  to  the  character 
of  the  festivals  themselves.  We  saw  that  even  when 
the  sacred  ark  still  stood  at  Shiloh,  pilgrimages 
were  made  thither  once  a  year  at  the  festival  of 
Jehovah.  After  the  erection  of  the  tabernacle  and  the 
temple  this,  no  doubt,  took  place  more  frequently, 
and  the  numbers  were  greater.  Yet  the  object  of  the 
priests  could  not  be  completely  realised.  The  paschal 
festival  was  the  redemption  of  the  separate  house,  of 
each  individual  family.  This  meaning  and  object  was 
very  definitely  stamped  on  the  ritual.  In  a  similar 
manner,  the  feast  of  the  beginning  of  harvest  and 
of  the  first  fruits  required  celebration  at  home,  on  the 
plot  of  land,  and  this  was  still  more  the  case  with  the 
festival  of  thanksgiving  for  the  completed  harvest. 

Before  the  people  rejoiced  in  the  blessing  of  the 
completed  harvest  at  the  feast  of  tabernacles,  all  mis- 
deeds which  might  have  defiled  the  year  to  that  time 
must  be  cancelled  and  removed  by  a  special  sacrifice. 
For  this  object  the  law  on  this  occasion  made  a  require- 
ment never  demanded  at  any  other  time.  From  the 
evening  of  the  ninth  to  the  evening  of  the  tenth  day 
there  was  not  only  a  cessation  of  business,  but  a  strict 
fast  was  kept.  Every  man  among  the  people  must 
subject  himself  to  this  regulation,  and  he  who  trans- 
gressed it  was  threatened  with  the  loss  of  bis  life.1  The 
high  priest  had  first  to  cleanse  himself  and  the  other 
priests,  and  then  the  dwelling  of  Jehovah  ;  for  even  the 
sanctuary  might  be  defiled  by  the  inadvertence  of  the 

1  Levit.  xxiii.  29. 


priests.  When  the  high  priest  had  bathed  he  must  clothe 
himself  in  a  coat  and  trousers  of  white  linen,  with  a 
girdle  and  head-band  of  the  same  material,  and  offer  a 
young  bull  as  a  sin  offering.  Bearing  a  vessel  filled  with 
the  blood  of  this  victim,  and  with  the  censer  from  the 
altar  of  incense  in  the  interior  of  the  sanctuary,  which 
contained  burning  coals  and  frankincense,  the  high 
priest  went  alone  into  the  holy  of  holies,  behind  the 
curtain  before  the  ark  of  the  covenant.  Immediately 
on  his  entrance  the  clouds  arising  from  the  censer  must 
fill  the  chamber,  that  the  priest  might  not  see  the  face 
of  Jehovah  over  the  cherubs  and  die.  Then  the  high 
priest  sprinkled  the  blood  from  the  vessel  seven  times 
towards  the  ark,  and  when  thus  cleansed  he  turned 
back  to  the  court  of  the  sanctuary,  in  which  two  goats 
stood  ready  for  sacrifice.  He  cast  lots  which  of  the 
two  should  be  sacrificed  to  Jehovah  and  which  to 
Azazel,  the  evil  spirit  of  the  desert.  When  the  lot 
was  cast,  the  high  priest  laid  his  hand  on  the  head  of 
the  goat  assigned  to  Azazel,  confessed  all  the  sins  arid 
transgressions  of  Israel  on  this  goat,  and  laid  them  on 
his  head,  in  order  that  he  might"  carry  them  into  the 
desert-land  into  which  the  goat  was  driven  from  the 
sanctuary.  Then  the  high  priest  slew  the  other  goat 
assigned  to  Jehovah,  and,  returning  into  the  holy  of 
holies,  sprinkled  with  his  blood  the  ark  of  the  coven- 
ant for  the  second  time,  in  order  to  purify  the  people. 
When  the  altar  of  incense,  in  the  outer  part  of  the 
sanctuary,  had  been  sprinkled  in  a  similar  manner,  the 
high  priest  declared  that  Jehovah  was  appeased. 
After  a  second  bath  he  put  on  his  usual  robes,  and 
offered  three  rams  as  burnt  offerings  for  himself,  the 
priesthood,  and  the  nation.1 

All  sacrifices  were  to  be  offered  at  the  tabernacle, 

1  Lerit.  xvi.,  xxiii.  26—32. 


212  ISRAEL. 

"  before  the  dwelling  of  Jehovah ; "   and  afterwards 

0  ' 

in  like  manner  in  the  temple.  The  law  of  the  priests 
threatened  any  one  with  death  who  sacrificed  else- 
where.1 The  most  essential  regulations  for  the  offering 
of  sacrifice  are  perhaps  the  following: — Any  one  who 
intended  to  bring  an  offering  must  purify  himself  for 
several  days.  Wild  animals  could  not  be  offered.  In 
the  Hebrew  conception  the  sacrifice  is  the  surrender 
of  a  part  of  a  man's  possessions  and  enjoyments. 
Hence  only  domestic  offerings  could  be  offered,  because 
only  these  are  really  property.  Cattle,  sheep,  and 
goats  were  the  animals  appointed  for  sacrifice.  The 
poorer  people  were  also  allowed  to  offer  doves.  Each 
victim  must  be  without  blemish  and  healthy,  and  it 
must  not  be  weakened  and  desecrated  by  labour. 
Before  the  animal  was  killed  the  sacrificer  laid  his 
hand  on  its  head  for  a  time ;  then  he  who  offered 
the  sacrifice,  whether  priest  or  layman,  slew  the 
victim,  but  only  the  priest  could  receive  the  warm 
blood  in  the  sacrificial  vessel.  With  this  vessel  in  his 
hand  the  priest  went  round  the  altar  and  sprinkled 
the  feet,  the  corners,  and  the  sides  of  it  with  the 
blood  of  the  victim.  In  the  Hebrew  conception  the 
life  of  the  victim  was  in  its  blood,  and  thus  the  sprink- 
lings which  were  to  be  made  with  it  form  the  most 
important  part  of  the  holy  ceremony.  From  ancient 
times  the  burnt  offering  was  the  most  solemn  kind  of 
sacrifice.  Only  male  animals,  and,  as  a  rule,  bulls  and 
rams,  could  be  offered  as  burnt  offerings.  When  they 
had  been  slain  and  skinned  these  offerings  were 
entirely  burnt  in  the  fire  on  the  altar,  without  any 
part  being  enjoyed  by  the  sacrificer  or  the  priest,  as 
was  the  case  in  other  kinds  of  offerings ;  only  the  skin 
fell  to  the  share  of  the  priests.  As  the  burnt  offering 

1  Levit.  xyii.  3 — 5. 


was  intended  to  gain  the  favour  of  Jehovah,  so  were 
the  sin  offerings  intended  to  appease  his  anger  and 
blot  out  transgressions.  For  sin  offerings  female 
animals  were  used  as  a  rule,  as  male  animals  for  the 
burnt  offerings,1  but  young  bulls  and  he-goats  were 
also  offered  as  expiatory  offerings  for  the  whole  people, 
and  for  oversights  or  transgressions  of  the  priests  in 
the  ritual,  and  for  sin  offerings  for  princes.  In  sin 
offerings  only  certain  parts  of  the  entrails  were  burnt, 
the  kidneys,  the  liver,  and  other  parts ;  and  in  this 
sacrifice  the  priests  sprinkled  the  blood  on  the  horns 
of  the  altar  ;  the  flesh  which  was  not  burned  belonged 
to  the  priests.  In  thank  offerings  and  offerings  of 
slaughter  (so  called  because  in  these  the  slaying  and 
eating  of  the  victim  was  the  principal  matter)  only  the 
fat  was  burnt,  the  priests  kept  the  breast  and  the 
right  thigh,2  the  rest  was  eaten  by  the  sacrificer  at  a 
banquet  with  the  guests  whom  he  had  invited ;  but 
this  banquet  must  be  held  at  the  place  of  sacrifice,  on 
the  same  or  at  any  rate  on  the  following  day.  Drink 
offerings  consisted  of  libations  of  wine,  which  were 
poured  on  and  round  the  altar  (libations  of  water 
are  also  mentioned,  though  not  in  the  law,  p.  115) ; 
the  food  offerings  in  fruits,  corn,  and  white  meal,  which 
the  priests  threw  into  the  fire  of  the  altar ;  in  bread  and 
cookery,  which,  drenched  with  oil  and  sprinkled  with 
salt  and  incense,  was  partly  burned,  and  partly  fell  to 
the  lot  of  the  priests.  Lastly,  the  incense  offerings 
consisted  in  the  burning  of  incense,  which  did  not  take 
place,  like  the  other  sacrifices,  on  the  larger  altar  in 
the  court  of  the  sanctuary,  but  on  the  small  altar, 
which  stood  in  the  space  before  the  holy  of  holies 
of  the  tabernacle,  and  afterwards  of  the  temple.3 

1  Levit.  i. — Yi.  2  Levit.  vii.  23 — 34,  and  in  other  passages. 

3  Supr.  p.  183.  1—9. 

214  ISRAEL. 

According  to  the  law,  a  service  was  to  be  continu- 
ally going  on  in  the  dwelling  of  Jehovah.     The  sacred 
fire  on  the  altar  in  the  interior  of  the  tabernacle  was 
never  to  be  quenched ;  before  the  holy  of  holies  on 
the  sacred  table  twelve  unleavened  loaves  always  lay 
sprinkled  with  salt  and  incense,  as  a  symbolical  and 
continual  offering  of  the  twelve  tribes.     Each  Sabbath 
this  bread  was  renewed,  and  the  loaves  when  removed 
fell  to  the  priests.     Before  the  curtain  of  the  holy  of 
holies  the  candlestick  with  seven  lamps  was  always 
burning,  and  every  morning  and  evening  the  priests 
of  the   temple  were   to    offer   a   male    sheep    as    a 
burnt  offering  at  the  dwelling  of  Jehovah,  and  two 
sheep  on  the  morning  and  evening  of  the  Sabbath. 
The  high  priest  had  also  to  make  an  offering  of  corn 
every  morning  and  evening.1 

Beside  the  sacrifice,  the  law  of  the  priests  required 
the  observance  of  a  whole  series  of  regulations  for 
purity.       It    is  not  merely  bodily  cleanliness  which 
these  laws  required  of  the  Israelites,  nor  is  it  merely  a 
natural  abhorrence  of  certain  disgusting  objects  which 
lies   at   the  base   of    these   prescriptions;    it   is   not 
merely  that  to  the  simple  mind  physical  and  moral 
purity  appear  identical,  that  moral  evil  is  conceived 
as  a  defilement  of  the  body ;  nor   are  these  regula- 
tions merely  intended  to   place  a  certain  restriction 
on  natural  states  and  impulses.      These  factors  had 
their  weight,   but  beside  them  all   a  certain  side  of 
nature  and  of  the  natural  life  was  set  apart  as  im- 
pure and  unholy.     The  laws  of   purity   among   the 
Israelites  are  far  less  strict  and  comprehensive  than 
those  of  the  Egyptians  and  the  Indians ;    but  if  we 
unite  them  with  the  ritual  by  which  transgressions  of 

1  Levit.  vi.  12,  13;  ix.  17. 


these  rules  were  done  away  and  made  good,  they  form 
a  system  entering  somewhat  deeply  into  the  life  of  the 

For  the  laity  also  the  law  required  and  prescribed 
cleanliness  of  clothing.  Stuffs  of  two  kinds  might  not 
be  worn  ;  pomegranates  must  be  fixed  on  the  corners 
of  the  robe.  The  field  and  vineyard  might  not  be 
sown  with  two  kinds  of  seed  ;  nor  could  ox  and  ass  be 
yoked  together  before  the  plough.1  Certain  animals 
were  unclean,  and  these  might  not  be  eaten.  The 
clean  and  permitted  food  was  obtained  from  oxen, 
sheep,  goats,  and  in  wild  animals  from  deer,  wild- 
goats,  and  gazelles,  and  in  fact  from  all  animals  which 
ruminate  and  have  cloven  feet.  Unclean  are  all  flesh- 
eating  animals  with  paws,  and  more  especially  the 
camel,  the  swine,  the  hare,  and  the  coney.  Of  fish, 
those  only  might  be  eaten  which  have  fins  and  scales  ; 
all  fish  resembling  snakes,  like  eels,  might  not  be 
eaten.  Most  water-fowl  are  unclean ;  pigeons  and 
quails,  on  the  other  hand,  were  permitted  food.  All 
creeping  things,  winged  or  not,  with  the  exception  of 
locusts,  are  forbidden.2  Moreover,  if  the  permitted 
animals  were  not  slain  in  the  proper  manner  their 
flesh  was  unclean ;  if  it  had  "  died  of  itself,"  or  was 
strangled,  or  torn  by  wild  beasts,3  the  use  of  the 
blood  of  the  animal  was  most  strictly  forbidden,  "  for 
the  life  of  all  flesh  is  the  blood ;  "  even  of  the  animals 
which  might  be  eaten  the  blood  must  be  poured  on  the 
earth  and  covered  with  earth.4  As  the  eating  of  for- 


bidden  food  made  a  man  unclean,  so  also  did  all  sexual 
functions  of  man  or  woman,  and  all  diseases  connected 
with  these  functions,  including  lying  in  child-bed. 
Every  one  was  also  unclean  on  whose  body  was  "a 

1  Numbers  xv.  38 ;   Levit.  xix.  19.  2  Levit.  xi.  1 — 44. 

3  Levit.  xvii.  15.  4  Levit.  xvii.  14. 

216  ISRAEL. 

rising  scab  or  bright  spot,"  but  above  all  the  white 
leprosy  rendered  the  sufferer  unclean.1  Finally,  any 
contact  with  the.  corpse  of  man  or  beast,  whether 
intentional  or  accidental,  rendered  a  man  unclean. 
The  house  in  which  a  man  died,  with  all  the  utensils, 
was  unclean  ;  any  one  who  touched  a  grave  or  a  human 
bone  was  tainted.2 

The  priestly  regulations  set  forth  in  great  detail 
the  ceremonies,  the  washings  and  sacrifices,  by  which 
defilements  were  to  be  removed.  The  unclean  person 
must  avoid  the  sanctuary,  and  even  society  and  contact 
with  others,  till  the  time  of  his  purification,  which  in 
serious  defilements  can  only  begin  after  the  lapse  of  a 
certain  time.  In  the  more  grievous  cases  ordinary 
water  did  not  suffice  for  the  cleansing,  but  from  the 
ashes  of  a  red  cow  without  blemish,  which  was  slain  as 
a  sin  offering  and  entirely  burnt,  the  priest  prepared 
a  special  water  of  purification  with  cedar  wood  and 
bunches  of  hyssop.  The  reception  of  healed  lepers 
required  the  most  careful  preparations  and  most  scru- 
pulous manipulations. 

Among  the  regulations  of  purity  is  reckoned  the 
custom  of  circumcision,  which  was  practised  among  the 
Israelites,  and  retained  by  the  law.  Yet  the  reason 
for  this  peculiar  custom,  which  according  to  the  regula- 
tions of  the  priests  was  performed  on  the  eighth  day 
after  birth,  the  first  day  of  the  second  week  of  life,3 

1  Levit.  xiii.,  xiv. 

3  The  spoils  taken  in  war  are  also  to  be  purified;  Numbers  xxxi. 

3  Levit.  xii.  3.  The  Arabian  tribes  in  the  north  of  the  peninsula, 
who  were  nearly  related  to  the  Hebrews,  observed  this  custom,  and 
the  Phenicians  also,  while  the  Philistines  did  not  observe  it ;  Herod.  2, 
104.  In  Genesis  (xxi.  4  ;  xvii.  12 — 14,  25)  it  is  expressly  mentioned 
that  Ishmael  was  not  circumcised  till  his  thirteenth  year,  but  Isaac  was 
circumcised  at  the  proper  time,  on  the  eighth  day.  This  shows  that 
circumcision  was  a  very  ancient  custom  among  the  Israelites,  and  at 


seems  to  lie  in  other  motives  rather  than  in  the  desire 
to  remove  a  certain  part  of  the  male  body  which  was 
regarded  as  unclean.  We  saw  above  that  according 
to  the  old  conception  of  the  Israelites  the  firstborn 
must  be  ransomed  from  Jehovah,  that  the  life  of  all 
boys,  if  it  was  to  be  secured,  must  be  purchased  from 
Jehovah  (I.  414,  448).  Hence,  if  we  may  follow  the 
hint  of  an  obscure  narrative,  it  is  not  improbable  that 
circumcision  of  the  reproductive  member  was  a  vicarious 
blood-sacrifice  for  the  life  of  the  boy.  When  Moses 
returned  from  the  land  of  Midian  to  Egypt — so  we 
learn  from  the  Ephraimitic  text — "  Jehovah  met  him 
in  the  inn,  and  sought  to  kill  him.  Then  Zipporah 
took  a  sharp  stone,  and  cut  off  the  foreskin  of  her  son, 
and  cast  it  at  his  feet,  and  he  departed  from  him."  l 
To  the  Israelites  circumcision  was  a  symbol  of  their 
connection  with  the  nation,  of  their  covenant  with 
Jehovah  and  selection  by  him. 

The  most  important  part  of  the  purity  of  the 
people  of  Jehovah  was  their  maintenance  of  his  wor- 
ship, the  strict  severance  of  Israel  from  the  religion  of 
their  neighbours  and  community  with  them.  It  was 
now  seen  what  influence  living  and  mingling  with  the 
Canaanites  had  exercised  in  the  national  worship,  and 
it  was  perceived  what  an  attraction  the  Syrian  rites 
had  presented  for  centuries  to  the  nation,  and  what  a 
power  they  still  had  upon  them.  Hence  even  Moses 
was  said  to  have  given  the  command  to  destroy  the 
altars  and  images  of  the  Canaanites,  to  drive  out 
all  the  Canaanites,  and  make  neither  covenant  nor 

the  same  time  indicates  that  among  the  Arabs  the  boys  were  not  cir- 
cumcised till  later  years,  which  may  have  been  the  case  in  the  older 
times  among  the  Hebrews  also.  Of.  Joshua  v.  1 — 9;  Joseph.  "  An- 
tiq."  1,  12,  3. 

1  Exod.  iv.  24;  cf.  De  Wette-Schrader,  "  Einleitung,"  s.  282. 

218  ISRAEL. 

marriage  with  them.1  The  law  forbade  sacrifices  to 
Moloch  under  penalty  of  death ;  any  one  who  did  so 
was  to  be  stoned.  Those  who  made  offerings  to  other 
gods  than  Jehovah  were  to  be  "accursed"  (I.  499). 
Wizards  were  also  to  be  stoned.2  "  Ye  shall  not  round 
the  corners  of  your  heads,  neither  shalt  thou  mar  the 
corners  of  thy  beard.  Ye  shall  not  make  any  cuttings 
in  your  flesh  for  the  dead,  nor  print  any  mark  upon 
you.  Do  not  prostitute  thy  daughter  to  cause  her  to 
play  the  harlot." 3  All  these  are  commands  directed 
against  the  manners,  funeral  customs,  and  religious 
worship  of  the  Canaanites.  Strangers  were  not  to  be 
received  into  the  community  and  people  of  Israel ; 
nor  could  Israelites  contract  marriage  with  women 
who  were  not  Israelites  ;  it  is  only  the  later  law  which 
allows  women  captured  in  war  to  be  taken  into  the 
marriage  bed.4  These  are  the  "  misanthropical "  laws 
of  the  Jews  of  which  Tacitus  speaks  with  such  deep 

The  law  assigned  a  far-reaching  religious  influence 
to  the  priests.  They  alone  could  turn  the  favour  of 
Jehovah  towards  his  people  by  correct  and  effective 
sacrifices,  and  appease  his  wrath  ;  they  announced  the 
will  of  Jehovah  by  his  oracle ;  in  regard  to  diseases 
and  leprosy,  they  exercised  police  functions  over  the 
whole  nation  by  means  of  the  regulations  for  cleanli- 
ness and  food ;  they  could  exclude  any  one  at  their 
discretion  from  the  sacrifices  and,  consequently,  from 
the  community  ;  and,  in  fine,  they  were  in  possession  of 
the  skill  and  knowledge  with  which  the  people  were 
unacquainted.  The  priesthood  arranged  the  chronology 

1  Numbers  xxxiii.    50 — 56;     Exod.   xxiii.  29  ff;  xxxiv.  12 — 16; 
Vol.  i.  500. 

2  Levit.  xviii.  21  ;  xx.  2,  27  ;  Exod.  xxii.  18. 

3  Levit.  xix.  27—29.         *  Deut.  xxi.  11—14;   cf.  Numbers  xii.  1. 


and  the  festivals,  they  supervised  weights  and  measures,1 
they  knew  the  history  of  the  people  in  past  ages,  and 
their  ancient  covenant  with  the  God  of  the  ancestors. 
From  their  knowledge  of  the  ordinances  of  Jehovah 
followed  the  claim  which  the  priests  made  to  watch 
over  the  application  of  these  ordinances  in  life,  the 
administration  of  law  and  justice.  But  at  first  this 
claim  was  put  forward  modestly.  The  old  regulations 
about  the  right  of  blood  in  the  time-honoured  observ- 
ances of  justice  were  added  to  the  law  of  ritual  when 
this  was  written  down  (I.  385,  484) ;  they  were  modified 
here  and  there  by  the  views  of  the  priesthood,  and  in 
some  points  essentially  extended ;  and  now,  like  the 
ordinances  for  the  places  of  sacrifice,  mode  of  worship, 
and  purification,  they  stood  opposed  in  many  regulations 
to  real  life  as  ideal  but  hardly  practicable  standards. 

According  to  the  view  of  the  priests  Jehovah  was  the 
true  possessor  of  the  land  of  Israel.  He  had  given  it 
to  his  people  for  tenure  and  use.  From  this  concep- 
tion the  law  derived  very  peculiar  conclusions,  which 
might  be  of  essential  advantage  for  retaining  the 
property  of  the  families  in  their  hands,  for  keeping 
•up  the  family  and  their  possessions,  on  which  the 
Hebrews  laid  weight,  and  for  proprietors  when  in 
debt.  To  aid  the  debtor  against  the  creditor,  the 
poor  against  the  rich,  the  labourer  against  him  who 
gave  the  work,  the  slave  against  his  master,  is  in 
other  ways  also  the  obvious  object  of  the  law. 

As  all  work  must  cease  on  the  seventh  day,  the  day 
of  Jehovah,  so  must  there  be  a  similar  cessation  in  the 
seventh  year,  which  is  therefore  called  the  Sabbath 
year.  In  every  seventh  year  the  Israelites  were  to 
allow  the  land  which  Jehovah  had  let  to  them  to  lie 
fallow,  in  honour  of  the  real  owner.  In  this  year  the 

1  Levit.  xix.  35,  36. 

220  ISRAEL. 

land  was  not  sowed,  nor  the  vine-trees  cut,  nor  the 
wild  beast  driven  from  the  field,  every  one  must  seek 
on  the  fallow  what  had  grown  there  without  culture. 
If  this  Sabbath  of  the  seventh  year  was  kept  Jehovah 
would  send  such  increase  on  the  preceding  sixth  year 
that  there  should  be  no  want.1  When  this  period  of 
seven  fallow  years  had  occurred  seven  times  the  circle 
appeared  to  be  complete,  and  from  this  point  of  view 
the  law  ordained  that  at  such  a  time  everything 
should  return  to  the  original  position.  Hence,  when 
the  seventh  Sabbath  year  was  seven  times  repeated  (in 
the  year  of  Jubilee)  not  only  was  agriculture  stopped, 
hut  all  alienated  property,  with  the  buildings  and 
belongings,  went  back  to  the  original  owner  or  his 
heirs.2  The  consequence  was  that  properties  were 
never  really  sold,  but  the  use  of  them  was  assigned  to 
others,  and  hence,  even  before  the  year  of  Jubilee,  the 
owner  could  redeem  his  land  by  paying  the  value  of 
the  produce  which  would  be  yielded  before  the  year  of 

But  the  priests  were  far  from  being  able  to  carry 
out  these  extended  requirements  which  proceeded  from 
the  sanctity  of  the  Sabbath,  and  from  the  conception 
that  the  land  of  Israel  belonged  to  Jehovah,  and 
every  family  held  their  property  from  Jehovah  him- 
self, and  which  were  intended  to  make  plain  the  true 
nature  of  the  property  of  the  Israelites.  It  was  an 
ideal  picture  which  they  set  up,  and  hardly  so  much  as 
an  attempt  was  made  to  carry  it  out.  They  could 
reckon  with  more  certainty  on  obedience  to  a  law 
which  ordained  that  no  interest  was  to  be  taken 
from  the  poor,  and  no  poor  man's  mantle  was  to  be 
taken  in  pledge.3  Nevertheless,  the  law  of  debt  was 

1  Exod.  xxiii.  10,  11  ;   Levit.  xxv.  20. 

2  Levit.  xxv.  24—31.         3  Exod.  xxii.  25—27  ;  Levit.  xxv.  35—38. 


severe.  If  the  debtor  could  not  pay  his  debt  before  a 
fixed  time  the  creditor  was  allowed  to  pay  himself 
with  the  moveable  and  fixed  property  of  the  debtor ; 
he  could  sell  his  wife  and  children,  and  even  the 
debtor  himself,  as  slaves,  or  use  him  as  a  slave  in  his 
own  service. 

For  the  legal  process  we  find  in  the  law  no  more 
than  the  regulation  "  that  one  witness  shall  not  bear 
evidence  against  a  man  for  his  death,"  i.  e.  that  one 
witness  was  not  sufficient  to  establish  a  serious  charge, 
that  "injustice  shall  not  be  done  in  judgment,  that 
the  person  of  the  small  shall  not  be  disregarded,  nor 
the  person  of  the  great  honoured ; "  "  according  to 
law  thou  shalt  judge  thy  neighbour."  l  For  every 
injury  done  to  the  person  or  property  of  another,  the 
guilty  shall  make  reparation.  We  know  already  the  old 
ordinances  which  require  life  for  life,  eye  for  eye,  and 
tooth  for  tooth  (I.  485).  Injury  to  property  and 
possession  was  to  be  fully  compensated ;  even  the 
injury  done  by  his  beast  was  to^be  compensated  by  the 
master.  Theft  was  merely  punished  by  restoring  four 
or  five  times  the  value  of  the  stolen  goods.  If  the 
thief  could  not  pay  this  compensation  he  was  handed 
over  to  the  injured  man  as  a  slave.  But  any  one  who 
steals  a  man  in  order  to  keep  him  as  a  slave,  or  to  sell 
him,  was  to  be  punished  with  death.2  If  a  murder 
was  committed,  the  avenger  of  blood,  i.  e.  the  nearest 
relative  and  heir  of  the  murdered  man,  was  to  pursue 
the  murderer  and  slay  him,  wherever  he  met  him,  as 
soon  as  it  was  established  by  two  persons  that  he  was 
really  guilty.  The  law  even  forbade  the  avenger  of 
blood  to  accept  a  ransom  instead  of  taking  the  life  of 
the  guilty,  because  the  land  was  desecrated  by  the 
blood  of  the  murdered  man,  "  and  the  land  is  not 

1  Numbers  xxxv.  30 ;   Levit.  xix.  15.  l  Exod.  xxi.  16. 

222  ISRAEL. 

cleansed  from  the  blood  spilt,  save  by  the  blood 
of  the  murderer."  An  exception  was  allowed  only 
when  one  man  slew  another  by  accident,  and  with- 
out any  fault  of  his  own,  and  not  out  of  hostility  or 
hatred.  In  this  case  the  slayer  was  to  fly  into  one 
of  the  six  cities  which  were  marked  out  as  cities  of 
refuge.1  From  the  elders  of  the  city  the  pursuing 
avenger  of  blood  was  to  demand  the  delivery  of  the 
slayer,  and  they  were  to  decide  whether  the  act  was 
done  from  hatred  and  hostility,  or  was  merely  an  acci- 
dent. If  the  elders  decided  in  favour  of  the  first 
alternative,  they  were  to  give  up  the  guilty  into  the 
hands  of  the  avenger  of  blood,  that  he  might  die.  In 
the  other  case,  the  slayer  must  remain  in  the  city  of 
refuge  till  the  death  of  the  high  priest,  and  the 
avenger  was  free  from  the  guilt  of  bloodshed  if  before 
that  time  he  met  him  beyond  the  confines  of  the  city 
of  refuge  and  slew  him.2  The  regulations  of  the 
priests  even  went  so  far  as  to  lay  down  a  rule  that  if 
a  savage  bull  slew  a  man  the  bull  was  not  only  to  be 
stoned,  and  not  eaten  as  an  unclean  animal,  but  his 
master  also  must  die,  or  at  any  rate  pay  a  ransom,  if 
he  knew  that  the  animal  was  savage,  and  yet  did  not 
control  him.3 

Among  the  people  of  the  East  the  wealthier  men  did 
not  content  themselves  with  one  wife.  This  custom 
prevailed  in  Israel  also.  The  law  of  the  priests  did 
not  oppose  a  custom  which  had  an  example  and 
justification  in  the  narratives  of  the  patriarchs.  The 
Israelites  also  followed  the  general  custom  of  the  East, 
in  purchasing  the  wife  from  her  father,  and  recom- 
pensing the  father  for  the  loss  of  a  useful  piece  of 
property — for  the  two  working  hands  which  he  lost 

1  Exod.  xxi.  12 — 14;  Numbers  xxxv.  31 ;  Joshua  xx.  7 — 9. 

2  Numbers  xxxv.  25—28.  3  Exod.  xxi.  28—36. 


when  he  gave  away  his  daughter  from  his  house. 
Thus  Jacob  obtained  the  daughters  of  Laban  by  a 
service  of  14  years.  The  price  of  a  wife  purchased 
for  marriage  from  the  father  seems  to  have  been  from 
15  to  50  shekels  of  silver  (36*.  to  125s.).1  The  con- 
clusion of  the  marriage  was  marked  by  a  special 
festivity,  after  which  the  bride  was  carried  by  her 
parents  into  the  nuptial  chamber.  The  prostitution  of 
maidens  in  honour  of  the  goddess  of  birth,  so  common 
among  the  neighbouring  nations,  was  strictly  for- 
bidden by  the  book  of  the  law.  The  daughter  of  a 
priest  who  began  to  prostitute  herself  was  to  be  burnt 
with  fire,  because  she  thus  "  defiled  not  herself  only, 
but  also  her  father."  2  The  man  who  seduced  a  virgin 
was  compelled  to  purchase  her  for  his  wife,  and  even 
if  her  father  would  not  give  her  to  wife  he  was  to 
pay  him  the  usual  purchase-money.  Adultery  was 
punished  by  the  law  with  even  greater  severity  than 
violations  of  chastity  before  marriage.  The  adulteress, 
together  with  the  man  who  had  seduced  her  into  a 
violation  of  the  marriage  bond,  were  to  be  put  to 
death.3  If  a  man  suspected  his  wife  of  unfaithfulness 
without  being  able  to  prove  it  against  her  a  divine 
judgment  was  to  decide  the  matter.  The  priest 
was  to  lead  man  and  wife  before  Jehovah.  Then 
he  was  to  draw  holy  water  in  an  earthen  pitcher, 
and  throw  dust  swept  from  the  floor  of  the  dwelling 
of  Jehovah  into  this,  and  say  to  the  woman,  "  If 
thou  hast  not  offended  in  secret  against  thy  husband, 
remain  unpunished  by  this  water  of  sorrow,  that 
bringeth  the  curse  ;  but  if  thou  hast  sinned,  may  this 
water  go  into  thy  body  and  cause  thy  thighs  to  rot, 

1  Exod.  xxi.  32 ;  Hosea  iii.  2 ;  cf.  Deuteron.  xxii.  19,  29. 

2  Levit.  xix.  29  ;  xxi.  9.  3  Levit.  xviii.  20 ;  xx.  10. 

224  ISRAEL. 

•and  may  Jehovah  make  thee  a  curse  and  an  oath 
among  thy  people."  The  woman  answered,  "  So  be 
it ;"  and  when  the  priest  had  dipped  in  the  water  a 
sheet  written  with  the  words  of  this  curse,  she  was 
compelled  to  drink  it.1  Thus  the  woman  was  brought 
to  confession,  or  was  freed  from  the  suspicion  of  her 

Marriages  were  forbidden  not  only  with  strange 
women,  but  also  within  certain  degrees  of  relation- 
ship ;  in  which  were  included  not  only  those  close 
degrees,  to  which  there  is  a  natural  abhorrence,  but 
also  such  as  did  not  exclude  marriage  in  other  nations. 
In  this  matter  the  law  of  the  priests  proceeded  from 
the  sound  view  that  marriage  did  not  belong  to  a 
natural  connection  already  in  existence,  but  was  intended 
to  found  a  new  relationship.  Not  only  was  marriage 
forbidden  with  a  mother,  with  any  wife  or  concubine 
of  the  father,  with  a  sister,  a  daughter,  or  grand- 
" daughter,  a  widowed  daughter-in-law  ;  but  also  with 

O  '  O 

an  aunt  on  the  father's  or  mother's  side,  with  a  step- 
sister, or  sister  by  marriage,  with  a  sister-in-law,  or 
wife's  sister  so  long  as  the  wife  lived.2 

The  husband  purchased  his  wife  as  a  chattel ;  hence 
in  marriage  she  continued  to  live  in  entire  dependence 
beside  her  husband.  The  husband  could  not  commit 
adultery  as  against  his  wife ;  it  was  the  right  of 
another  husband  which  was  injured  by  the  seduction 
of  the  wife.  It  rested  with  the  husband  to  take  as 
many  wives  as  he  chose  beside  his  first  wife,  and  as 
many  concubines  from  his  handmaids  and  female 
slaves  as  seemed  good  to  him.  The  husband  could 
put  away  his  wife  if  she  "found  no  favour  in  his 
eyes,"  while  the  wife,  on  her  part,  could  not  dissolve 

1  Numbers  v.  5 — 31.  l  Levit.  xviii 


the  marriage,  or  demand  a  separation;  she  possessed 
no  legal  will.  Like  the  wife,  the  children  stood  to 
the  father  in  a  relation  of  the  most  complete  de- 
pendence. Nor  only  did  he  sell  his  daughters  for 
marriage,  he  could  give  them  as  pledges,  or  even  sell 
them  as  slaves,  but  not  out  of  the  land ; l  and  though 
the  father  was  not  allowed  to  sell  the  son  as  a  slave, 
he  could  turn  him  out  of  his  house.  Obedience  and 
reverence  towards  parents  were  impressed  strongly  on 
children,  even  in  the  earliest  regulations  derived  from 
the  time  of  Moses.  The  son  who  curses  his  father  or 
mother,  or  strikes  them,  must  be  put  to  death.2  The 
first-born  son  is  the  heir  of  the  house ;  after  the  death 
of  the  father  he  is  the  head  of  the  family,  and  succeeds 
to  his  rights  over  the  younger  sons  and  the  females. 
It  is  not  clear  whether  the  law  allows  any  claims  to 
the  moveable  inheritance  to  any  of  the  sons  besides 
the  eldest,  to  whom  the  immoveable  property  passed 
absolutely  ;  the  sons  of  concubines  and  slaves  had  no 
right  of  inheritance  if  there  were  sons  in  existence  by 
legitimate  marriage.  Daughters  could  only  inherit  if 
there  were  no  sons.  The  heiress  could  not  marry 
beyond  the  tribe,  in  order  that  the  inheritance  might 
at  least  fall  to  the  lot  of  a  tribesman.  If  there  were 
neither  sons  nor  daughters,  the  brother  of  the  father 
was  the  heir,  and  then  the  uncles  of  the  father.3 

The  law  attempts  to  fix  and  ameliorate  the  position 
of  day-labourers  and  slaves.  "  The  hire  of  the  labourer 
shall  not  remain  with  thee  till  the  morrow."4  The 
number  of  slaves  appears  to  have  been  considerable. 
They  were  partly  captives  taken  in  war,  and  partly 
strangers  purchased  in  the  way  of  trade  ;  partly  He- 

1  Exod.  xxi.  7,  8.  2  Exod.  xxi.  17;  Levit.  xx.  9. 

3  Numbers  xxxvi.  1 — 11 ;  Tobit  vii.  10;  Numbers  xxvii.  9. 
*  Levit.  xix.  13. 

VOL.  II.  * 

226  ISRAEL. 

brews  who,  when  detected  in  thieving,  could  not  pay 
the  compensation,  or  who  could  not  pay  their  debts, 
or  Hebrew  daughters  sold  by  their  parents.  The 
marriages  of  slaves  increased  their  number.  The  law 
required  that  slaves  should  rest  on  the  Sabbath  day  ; 1 
and  even  the  oldest  regulations  restrict  the  right  of 
the  master  over  the  life  of  his  slave  by  laying  down 
the  rule  that  the  slave  shall  be  free  if  his  master  has 
inflicted  a  severe  wound  upon  him,  and  that  the  master 
must  be  punished  if  he  has  slain  his  slave.2  The  slave 
who  was  a  born  Israelite  might  be  ransomed  by  his 
kindred,  if  they  could  pay  the  sum  required.3  The 
Hebrew  slave  was  treated  by  his  master  as  a  hired 
labourer,  and  hind.4  When  the  Hebrew  slave  had 
served  six  years  his  master  was  compelled  to  set  him 
free  without  ransom  in  the  seventh  year. .  A  Hebrew 
could  only  remain  in  slavery  for  ever  when,  after  six 
years  of  service,  he  voluntarily  declared  that  ho  wished 
to  remain  with  his  master ;  then,  as  a  sign  that  he 
permanently  belonged  to  the  house  of  his  master,  his 
ear  was  pierced  on  the  door-post  with  an  awl. 

1  Exod.  xx.  10.  2  Exod.  xxi.  20,  21,  26;  Vol.  i.  483. 

3  Levit.  xxv.  47  ff.  *  Levit.  xxv.  39 — 11. 



THE  monarchy  in  Israel  was  established  by  the  people 
to  check  the  destruction  and  ruin  with  which  the  land 
and  population  were  threatened  by  the  incursions  of  the 
neighbours  on  the  east,  by  the  dangerous  arms  of  the 
Philistines.  The  first  attempt  to  set  up  a  monarchy  in 
connection  with  the  cities  of  the  land  was  soon  wrecked 
and  swept  away,  without  leaving  a  trace  behind.  In 
spite  of- his  support  in  the  wishes  of  the  great  majority  of 
the  Israelites,  the  monarchy  of  Saul  had  not  succeeded 
in  establishing  itself  securely  by  its  simple  and  popular 
conduct.  It  was  not  till  the  monarchy  had  fortified  the 
royal  city  and  palace,  established  a  body-guard  and 
standing  troops,  magistrates  and  tax-gatherers,  and 
had  entered  into  close  relation  with  the  priests,  that 
it  obtained  security  and  permanence.  It  had  indeed 
fulfilled  its  mission  and  saved  Israel ;  it  had  won 
power,  glory,  and  respect  for  the  nation,  and  imparted 
to  it  lofty  impulses  of  the  most  important  kind.  It 
had  at  the  same  time  gone  far  beyond  the  intention 
of  its  foundation.  It  was  now  a  Sultanate,  which,  by 
filling  the  land  with  Syrian  trade  and  customs,  and 
allowing  the  growth  of  Syrian  modes  of  worship, 
threatened  in  one  direction  the  nationality  with  the 
same  dangers  which  it  had  removed  in  another. 

The   transformation  which   the  manner  of  life  in 

228  ISRAEL. 

Israel  underwent  during  the  reigns  of  David  and 
Solomon  was  scT  thorough  that  even  under  David  a 
reaction  set  in.  If  in  the  time  before  David  and 
Solomon  the  Israelites  had  led  an  unrestrained  life, 
they  were  now  ruled  by  a  severe  monarchy.  In  the 
place  of  the  patriarchal  authority  of  the  elders  and 
heads  of  tribes,  whose  decisions  they  had  formerly 
sought,  came  the  rule  of  royal  officers,  who  could 
exercise  their  power  capriciously  enough.  If  hitherto 
they  had  lived  unmolested,  every  man  on  his  own  plot, 
beneath  his  vine  and  fig  tree,  they  were  now  compelled 
to  pay  taxes  and  do  task- work.  After  the  burdens  Solo- 
mon had  laid  upon  the  people,  this  reaction  must  have 
been  stronger  than  at  the  time  when  Absalom's  rebellion 
shattered  the  throne  of  his  father.  Moreover,  Solomon's 
reign,  though  it  lasted  full  40  years,  did  not  give  the 
same  impression  of  vigorous  power  as  David's  strong 
arm  had  done  before  him,  and  the  monarchy  was  not 
so  old,  nor  so  firmly  established  as  an  institution,  that 
the  Israelites  could  not  remember  the  times  which 
preceded  it. 

No  doubt  the  tribe  of  Judah  could  bear  the  new 
burdens,  because  it  enjoyed  the  advantages  of  the 
new  polity.  The  king  belonged  to  this  tribe  ;  the 
temple  and  metropolis  were  in  its  territory.  But  the 
interests  of  the  other  tribes  were  the  more  deeply 
injured.  Above  all,  the  tribe  of  Ephraim  must  have 
felt  itself  degraded.  In  this  tribe  the  memory  of 
Joshua  still  lived,  the  remembrance  of  the  conquest  of 
the  land  ;  once  it  had  held  the  foremost  place,  and  on 
its  soil  the  ark  of  Jehovah  had  stood.  Now  the  pre-emi- 
nence was  with  Judah,  the  tribe  which  had  long  been 
subject  to  the  Philistines ;  the  sacred  ark  stood  at 
Jerusalem,  and  the  ancient  places  of  sacrifice  were 
neglected.  Of  the  feeling  of  the  tribe  of  Ephraim  we 


have  indubitable  evidence  in  an  attempt  at  rebellion 
at  the  beginning  of  the  last  decade  of  the  reign  of 
Solomon;  an  attempt,  it  is  true,  which  was  quickly 

When  Solomon  died,  in  the  year  953  B.C.,  it  was 
not  the  contests  between  his  sons  or  the  intrigues 
of  the  harem  which  now  threatened  the  succession. 
Rehoboam,  Solomon's  eldest  son,  who  was  born  to 
him  by  Naamah  the  Ammonite,  was  now  in  his  forty- 
second  year,  and  thus  in  the  vigour  of  age.  This 
vigour  he  needed.  At  the  news  of  Solomon's  death 
the  people  gathered  to  their  old  place  of  assembly  at 
Shechem.  This  self-collected  assembly  showed  that 
the  majority  of  Israel  were  mindful  of  their  right  to 
elect  the  king.  The  greatest  circumspection  and  tact 
were  needed  to  avert  the  approaching  storm.  Reho- 
boam saw  that  he  must  not  look  idly  on.  He  must 
either  attempt  to  disperse  the  assembled  multitude  by 
force  and  maintain  the  crown  by  arms,  or  he  must  treat 
with  it.  Hence  he  set  forth  to  Shechem,  accompanied 
by  the  counsellors  of  his  father.  A  deputation  of  the 
people  met  him,  and  said,  "  Thy  father  made  our  yoke 
grievous  ;  now  therefore  make  thou  the  grievous  service 
of  thy  father,  and  his  heavy  yoke  which  he  put  upon 
us,  lighter,  and  we  will  serve  thee."  Rehoboam 
promised  to  make  an  answer  on  the  third  day.  He 
assembled  his  counsellors.  The  old  men  among  them 

1  1  Kings  xi.  26  ff  place  the  rebellion  of  Jeroboam  in  the  time  when 
Solomon  built  Millo  (p.  186),  and  give  him  asylum  with  Shishak, 
king  of  Egypt.  Solomon  built  Millo,  the  walls  of  Jerusalem,  and  the 
fortifications  (p.  186)  when  the  building  of  the  palace  was  finished 
(1  Kings  ix.  10,  15,  24).  The  building  of  the  palace  was  completed  in 
970  B.C.  (p.  186) ;  hence  the  building  of  Millo  must  have  begun 
about  this  time.  It  can  hardly  have  lasted  more  than  10  years. 
Jeroboam's  rebellion,  therefore,  and  Shishak's  accession  are  not  to  be 
placed  after,  but  a  little  before,  960  B.C.  Lepsius  puts  Shishak's  acces- 
sion at  961  B.C. 

230  ISRAEL. 

— so  all  the  older  text  of  the  Books  of  Kings  tells 
us — advised  compliance,  and  recommended  him  to 
speak  kindly  to  the  people ;  the  younger,  who  had 
grown  up  with  the  new  king,  and  were  accustomed 
to  flatter  him,  and  desired  unrestricted  power  over  the 
people,  urged  him  to  reject  strongly  such  claims  and 
such  rebellion.  Rehoboam  was  foolish  enough  to 
follow  advice  which  could  not  but  be  ruinous. 
Although  he  can  hardly  have  said  to  the  people  the 
words  which  the  Books  of  Kings  put  in  his  mouth — 
"  My  father  chastised  you  with  whips,  but  I  will  chas- 
tise you  with  scorpions," — he  rejected  the  demand  of 
the  Israelites.  Then  a  cry  arose  in  the  assembly  of  the 
people,  "  We  have  no  part  in  David,  nor  any  inherit- 
ance in  the  son  of  Jesse ;  to  your  tents,  O  Israel ! " 
When  it  was  too  late  Rehoboam  attempted  to  soothe 
the  enraged  multitude.  He  sent  his  task-master, 
Adoniram,  to  them,  but  the  people  slew  the  ill-chosen 
messenger  by  stoning  him  to  death.  Nothing 
remained  for  Rehoboam  but  to  mount  his  chariot  in 
haste  and  fly  to  Jerusalem. 

The  grievous  distress  which  100  years  before  had 
caused  the  nation  at  Gilgal  to  proclaim  Saul  king 
with  one  consent,  and  which  after  the  death  of 
Ishbosheth  had  united  the  tribes  round  David  at 
Hebron,  had  long  passed  away.  The  danger  which 
division  had  once  brought  upon  Israel  had  faded  into 
the  distance,  and  was  forgotten  in  the  security  which 
had  prevailed  in  the  last  generations  against  the  neigh- 
bours on  every  side.  Nothing  was  thought  of  but  the 
immediate  evil  and  the  coming  oppression,  if  the 
monarchy  went  further  on  the  lines  on  which  it  was 
treading.  At  the  time  of  Solomon  an  Ephraimite  named 
Jeroboam,  the  son  of  Nabath  (Nebat)  of  Zereda,  who  is 
spoken  of  as  "  a  brave  man,"  was  a  second  overseer 


among  the  task-labourers.  AP.  he  was  skilful  in  the 
discharge  of  his  duties,  Solomon  raised  him  to  be  the 
overseer  of  the  task-work  of  his  tribe.  This  office, 
which  made  him  known  to  all  his  tribe,  Jeroboam  must 
have  discharged  in  such  a  way  as  to  gain  the  favour 
rather  than  the  aversion  of  the  tribesmen.  We  are 
told  in  a  few  words  that  "  Jeroboam  raised  his  hand 
against  Solomon,"  and  that  "  Solomon  sought  to  slay 
him."  Jeroboam  escaped  to  Egypt,  and  found  refuge 
with  the  Pharaoh  Shishak  (about  960  B.C.).  Immedi- 
ately after  Solomon's  death  Jeroboam  received  a  mes- 
sage from  his  tribesmen  to  return.  Kehoboam's  refusal 
to  carry  on  a  milder  form  of  government  decided  the 
choice  of  Jeroboam  as  king.  That  choice  declared  suffi- 
ciently the  degree  of  aversion  which  the  multitude  bore 
to  the  house  of  David  and  the  monarchy  at  Jerusalem. 
The  chief  city,  the  tribe  of  Judah,  the  tribe  of 
Simeon,  so  long  united  in  close  connection  with  Judah, 
and  a  part  of  the  tribe  of  Benjamin,  whose  land  lay 
immediately  at  the  gates  of  Jerusalem,  remained  true 
to  the  son  of  Solomon.  From  the  tribe  of  Judah  the 
rise  and  dominion  of  David  had  its  commencement ; 
to  them  that  dominion  was  now  returned,  and  was  again 
confined  within  its  early  limits.  The  question  was 
whether  Rehoboam  could  achieve  what  his  grandfather 
David  had  succeeded  in  doing  —  could  regain  the 
dominion  over  the  whole  land  from  Judah.  Rehoboam 
thought,  no  doubt,  that  he  could  reduce  by  the  power 
of  his  arms  the  tribes  which  had  withdrawn  them- 
selves from  his  dominion.  He  armed  and  assembled 
the  warriors  of  the  tribes  of  Judah  and  Benjamin.  If 
he  soon  abandoned  this  intention,  the  reason  hardly 
lies  in  the  warning  of  the  prophet  Semaiah,  as  the 
prophetic  revision  maintains  in  a  passage  interpolated 
into  the  annals, — we  are  told  at  the  same  time  that 

232  ISRAEL. 

there  had  been  "  a  contention  between  Rehoboam  and 
Jeroboam  from  the  first," :  —but  in  the  fact  that  a 
mightier  enemy  came  upon  Rehoboam. 

From  the  time  when  the  Hebrews  won  their  abode 
in  Canaan,  they  had  not  been  molested  in  any  way 
from  Egypt,  where  the  rulers  since  the  reign  of  Ramses 
III.  rested  quietly  by  the  Nile.  Solomon,  as  we  saw 
(p.  180),  entered  into  friendly  relations  with  Egypt, 
and  even  into  affinity.  But  in  the  later  years  of  his 
reign  a  new  dynasty  ascended  the  throne  of  Egypt  in 
the  person  of  Shishak,  which  took  up  a  different 
attitude.  With  him  Jeroboam  had  found  refuge 
from  the  pursuit  of  Solomon.  It  was  to  Jeroboam's 
interest,  no  less  than  Shishak's,  that  this  connection 
should  continue  after  Jeroboam  became  king  of  Israel. 
It  is  not  improbable  that  Shishak  made  war  upon 
Rehoboam  in  order  to  secure  Jeroboam  in  his  new 
dominion.  Whether  Jeroboam  sought  the  help  of 
Egypt  or  not,  why  should  not  Egypt  have  availed 
herself  of  the  breach  in  the  Israelitish  kingdom  which 
had  reached  such  a  height  in  Syria  under  David 
and  Solomon,  and  forced  her  way  even  to  the  borders 
of  Egypt  ?  Why  should  she  not  establish  the  division 
and  the  weakness  of  Israel  ?  At  the  same  time,  in 
all  probability,  a  cheap  reputation  for  military  valour 
might  be  obtained,  and  the  treasures  of  Solomon  seized. 
In  the  year  949  B.C.,  the  fifth  year  of  Rehoboam's  reign, 
the  Pharaoh  invaded  Judah.  He  is  said  to  "  have 
come  with  1200  chariots,  and  60,000  horsemen;  and 
the  people  who  accompanied  him  from  Egypt,  Libya, 
and  Ethiopia  were  beyond  number."  Rehoboam  could 
not  withstand  the  power  of  Shishak  ;  one  city  after 
another,  including  Jerusalem,  opened  her  gates  to  the 
Pharaoh.  The  glory  of  Solomon  was  past  and  gone. 

1  1  Kings  xii.  22 ;  xiv.  30. 


Shishak  took  away  the  treasures  of  the  temple  and 
the  royal  palace,  and  the  gold  shields  which  Solomon 
had  caused  to  be  made  for  the  body-guard.     There 
was  no  thought  of  a  lasting  conquest  and  the  sub- 
jugation of  Syria  ;  the  object  was  merely  to  weaken, 
plunder,  and  reduce  Judah.      When  this  object  was 
obtained  the  Pharaoh  turned  back  to  Egypt.     On  the 
outer  walls  of  the  temple  of  Karnak  we  may  see  the 
gigantic  form  of  Shishak,  who  brandishes  the  weapon 
of  victory  over  a  crowd  of  conquered  enemies;  133 
bearded  figures  are  to  be  seen,  with  their  hands  tied 
behind    them,  whom  Ammon  and  Mut   are  leading 
before  Shishak.     The  lower  part  of  these  figures   is 
covered   by  the   name-shields.      They  represent  the 
places  in  the  kingdom  of  Judah,  which  in  equal  num- 
ber were  taken  or  were  taxed  by  the  Pharaoh.      Of 
these  133  name-shields  about  100  are  still  legible,  but 
few  names  are  found  among  these  which  correspond  to 
known  places  in  Judaea.      We  may  perhaps  recognise 
Jehud,  Ajalon,  Beth-Horon,  G-ibeon,  Beeroth,  Simmon 
in  the  north  of  Judah  or  in  Benjamin ;  Engedi  and 
Adullam  in  the  east;    Lachish,  Adoraim,  Mareshah, 
Kegilah  (Keilah),  and  some  other  places  in  the  centre 
of  Judah.    A.s  there  is  scarcely  one  among  these  names 
which  can  with  certainty  be  apportioned  to  the  king- 
dom of  Israel,  the  conclusion  may  naturally  be  drawn 
that  the  campaign  was  made  with  a  favourable  regard 
to  Jeroboam,  and  was  confined  to  Judah.1 

1  O.  Blau  in  "  Zeitschr.  D.  M.  GK"  10,  233  ff,  and  below.  The  shield 
which.  Champollion  read  Judaha  Malek  is  read  Jehud  by  Blau,  who 
refers  it  to  Jehud,  a  place  of  the  Southern  Danites.  Even  the  occur- 
rence of  names  of  towns  belonging  to  the  kingdom  of  Ephraim  would 
not  exclude  the  possibility  that  Shishak' s  campaign  was  undertaken 
in  favour  of  Jeroboam.  Jeroboam  acknowledged  the  supremacy  of 
Egypt  in  the  meaning  of  the  Pharaoh  when  he  called  on  Egypt  for  help, 
and  therefore,  after  the  manner  of  Egyptian  monuments  of  victory  and 
inscriptions,  his  cities  could  be  denoted  as  subject  to  Egypt.  Hence 

234      _  ISRAEL. 

It  was  a  heavy  blow  which  had  befallen  the  little 
kingdom,  and,  what  was  still  worse,  Jeroboam  could 
avail  himself  of  it,  and  the  Pharaoh  could  repeat  his 
raid.  Kehoboam  saw  that  the  only  way  to  increase 
the  power  of  resistance  in  his  kingdom  and  prevent  its 
overthrow  was  to  strengthen  the  fortifications  of  the 
metropolis,  and  change  all  the  larger  towns  in  the  land 
into  fortresses.  He  carried  this  plan  out,  we  are  told, 
so  far  as  he  could,  and  provided  them  with  garrisons, 
arms,  supplies,  and  governors.  Fifteen  of  these  are 
mentioned  in  the  Chronicles.  The  dominion  over  the 
Edomites,  whom  Saul  fought  with  and  David  overcame, 
and  who  attempted  in  vain  to  break  loose  under  Solo- 
mon, was  maintained  by  Rehoboam. 

After  the  brief  reign  of  Abiam,  the  son  of  'Kehoboam 
(932 — 929  B.C.),  Asa,  the  brother  of  Abiam,  ascended 
the  throne  of  Judah.  In  his  time,  according  to  the 
Chronicles,  Serah,  the  Cushite,  invaded  Judah  with  a 
great  army,  and  forced  his  way  as  far  as  Maresa ;  but 
in  the  fifteenth  year  of  his  reign  Asa  defeated  the 
Cushites,  and  sacrificed  700  oxen  and  7000  sheep  out 
of  the  booty  to  Jehovah  at  Jerusalem.  The  Books 
of  the  Kings  know  nothing  but  the  fact  that  Asa  was 
engaged  in  constant  warfare  with  Baasha,  the  second 
successor  of  Jeroboam,  king  of  Israel  (925 — 901  B.C.).1 

Maketliu,  as  Brugscli  reads  (Gesch.  ./Egyptens,  s.  661),  maybe  Megiddo 
or  Makedu  in  the  north  of  Judah ;  in  the  first  case  the  explanation 
given  holds  good.  Jerusalem  is  not  found  among  the  names  which 
can  be  read  and  interpreted. 

1  Supra,  p.  112,  note.  I  have'remarked  that  assumptions  there  noticed 
are  necessary  to  bring  the  Hebrew  chronology  into  harmony  with  the 
Assyrian  monuments  and  the  stone  of  Mesha.  That  Ahaziah  of  Judah 
and  Joram  of  Israel  must  have  been  slain,  at  the  latest,  in  the  year 
843  B.C.  is  a  necessary  consequence  of  the  fact  that  Jehu  paid  tribute 
to  the  Assyrians  as  early  as  the  year  842  B.C.  In  the  same  way  the 
Assyrian  monuments  prove  that  Ahab  of  Israel  cannot  have  died 
before  the  year  853  B.C.  As  the  Hebrew  Scriptures,  in  the  chronology 
of  Israel,  put  Ahaziah  with  two  years,  and  Joram  with  twelve  years, 


Baasha  forced  his  way  as  far  as  Kamah,  i.  e.  within  two 
leagues  of  Jerusalem.  This  place  he  took  and  fortified, 
and  was  now  enabled  to  press  heavily  on  the  metropolis 
of  Judah,  by  checking  their  trade  and  cutting  off  their 
supplies.  Asa's  military  power  does  not  seem  to  have 
been  sufficient  to  relieve  him  from  this  intolerable 
position.  He  "took  all  the  silver  and  gold  that 
remained  in  the  treasures  of  the  house  of  Jehovah,  and 
in  the  treasures  of  the  king's  house,"  and  sent  it  to 
Benhadad,  who  was  now  king  of  Damascus  in  the 
room  of  Rezon  the  opponent  of  Solomon,  and  urged  him 
to  break  his  covenant  with  Baasha,  and  make  war  upon 
him  that  he  might  leave  Judah  at  peace.  Benhadad 
agreed  to  his  request.  He  invaded  Israel.  As  Jero- 
boam had  summoned  Egypt  against  Judah,  Judah  was 
now  joined  by  Damascus  against  Israel.  Baasha  aban- 
doned his  war  against  Israel,  and  Asa  caused  the 
wood  and  the  stones  of  the  fortifications  to  be  hastily 

between  Ahab's  death,  and  Jehu's  accession,  four  years  must  be  struck 
out  and  deducted  from  the  reign  of  Joram.  To  maintain  the  parallelism, 
the  same  operation  must  be  performed  with  the  contemporary  kings  of 
Judah.,  and  the  reign  of  Jehoram  of  Judah  (for  which,  even  if  we 
retain  the  data  of  the  Books  of  Kings,  six  years  remain  at  the  most) 
must  be  reduced  from  eight  years  to  four.  These  four  years  in  each 
kingdom  will  be  best  added  to  the  first  reigns  after  the  division,  to 
Jeroboam  (22  +  4  =  26)  and  Kehoboam  (17  +  4  =  21).  Twelve  years 
must  be  added  to  the  reign  of  Omri  (p.  114,  «.).  The  same  augment- 
ation must  be  made  in  the  corresponding  reign  of  Asa  of  Judah,  or, 
rather,  as  the  chronology  of  Judah.  from  Rehoboam  to  Athaliah  gives 
three  years  less  than  that  from  Jeroboam  to  Jehu,  15  years  must  bo 
added  to  Asa  instead  of  12,  so  that  his  reign  reaches  41  +  15  =  56,  and 
Omri's  reign  12  +  12  =  24  years.  Hence  Eeh.oboam.was  succeeded  by 
Abiam  not  in  the  eighteenth,  but  in  the  twenty-second  year  of  Jero- 
boam ;  Ahab  ascended  the  throne  not  in  the  thirty-sixth,  but  in  the 
fifty-fourth  year  of  Asa.  From  these  assumptions  are  deduced  the 
numbers  given  in  the  text.  I  consider  it  hopeless  to  attempt  to 
reconcile  the  divergencies  in  the  comparisons  of  the  two  series  of  kings 
in  the  Books  of  Kings;  e.  g.  that  Omri  should  ascend  the  throne  in  the 
thirty-first  year  of  Asa,  and  reign  12  years,  while  Ahab  nevertheless 
ascends  the  throne  in  the  thirty-eighth  year  of  Asa. 

236  ISRAEL. 

carried  away  from  Ramah,  and  with  this  material  he 
entrenched  Gebah  and  Mizpeh  against  Israel.1 

An  addition  in  the  first  Book  of  Kings  remarks 
that  Asa  removed  the  harlots  and  the  idols  out  of  the 
land,  that  he  threw  down  the  image  of  Astarte,  which 
his  mother  had  set  up,  and  burnt  it  in  the  valley  of 
the  Kidron.2  This  was  a  healthy  reaction  against  the 
foreign  rites  which  had  crept  in  in  the  last  years  of 
Solomon's  reign.  Asa's  son  Jehoshaphat  (873 — 848 
B.C.)  went  further  in  this  direction.  The  remainder  of 
the  harlots  were  removed  from  the  land ;  he  entered 
into  peaceful  relations  with  Israel.  The  supremacy 
over  the  Edomites  was  maintained,  and  they  were 
governed  by  viceroys  of  the  king  of  Judah.3  We 
find  that  the  Edomites  sent  contingents  to  him ;  and 
his  sway  extended  as  far  as  the  north-east  point  of 
the  Red  Sea.  Here,  at  Elath,  as  in  Solomon's  time, 
great  ships  were  built  for  the  voyage  to  Ophir.4 

The  ten  tribes  who  had  set  Jeroboam  at  their  head 
were  the  mass  of  the  people  both  in  numbers  and 
extent  of  territory.  They  might  hope  to  carry  on  the 
kingdom,  they  preserved  the  name  of  Israel ;  while  in 
the  south  there  was  little  more  than  one  powerful  tribe 
separated  from  the  rest.  Shechem,  the  ancient  metro- 
polis of  the  tribe  of  Ephraim,  the  place  at  which 
the  crown  was  transferred  to  Jeroboam,  was  the  re- 
sidence of  the  new  king.  When  Jerusalem  was  no 
longer  the  chief  metropolis  of  the  kingdom,  the  temple 
there  could  not  any  longer  be  the  place  of  worship  for 
all  the  tribes.  It  would  be  nothing  less  then  recog- 
nising the  supremacy  of  Rehoboam  if  the  tribes  con- 
tinued to  go  up  to  Jerusalem  to  the  great  sacrifices 

1  1  Kings  xv.  16—24 ;  2  Chron.  xvi.  1—10. 

s  1  Kings  xv.  11—14;  2  Chron.  xiv.  2—5. 

3  1  Kings  xxii.  48 ;  2,  viii.  20.  *  1  Kings  *yji.  49. 


and  festivals.     The   places   of  worship  for  the  new 
kingdom  must  be  within  its  own  borders.     Jeroboam 


consecrated  afresh  the  old  place  of  sacrifice,  Bethel,  on 
the  southern  border  of  the  territory  of  Ephraim,  the 
place  where  Abraham  had  offered  sacrifice,  and  Jacob 
had  rested  (I.  390, 408);  and  on  the  northern  boundaries 
of  his  kingdom  he  consecrated  the  place  of  sacrifice  at 
Dan,  which  the  Danites  had  once  founded  on  taking 
Laish  from  the  Sidonians  (p.  94).  At  both  places  he 
set  up  a  golden  calf  to  Jehovah,  and  instituted  priests  ; 
and,  as  we  are  told,  the  Israelites  came  like  one  man  to 
the  feasts  of  Dan,  and  sacrificed  at  Bethel,  where  the 
sanctuary  also  contained  a  treasury.  Of  other  actions 
of  Jeroboam,  we  only  know  that  he  built,  i.  e.  fortified, 
Peniel  in  the  land  beyond  Jordan;  no  doubt  in  order  to 
be  able  to  maintain  his  supremacy  over  the  Ammonites. 
The  severe  blow  which  had  fallen  on  the  kingdom  of 
Judah  by  the  incursion  of  Shishak  secured  him  from 
any  serious  attack  on  the  part  of  Kehoboam.  The 
petty  warfare  on  the  borders  of  Judah  and  Israel 
naturally  did  not  cease  during  his  reign  (p.  231). 

Nadab,  the  son  of  Jeroboam  (927 — 925  B.C.), 
marched  against  the  Philistines  in  order  to  recover 
from  them  Gibbethon  in  the  land  of  the  southern 
Danites.  Here  in  the  camp  at  Gibbethon  he  was  slain 
by  Baasha,  one  of  the  captains  of  his  army,  and  the 
whole  race  of  Jeroboam  was  destroyed.  Baasha  ascend  ed 
the  throne,  which  Nadab  had  held  for  two  years  only. 
He  took  up  his  abode  at^  Tirzah,  a  pleasantly- 
situated  place  north  of  Shechem.1  The  division  of  the 
kingdom  of  Israel  and  its  consequent  debility  could  not 
but  appear  a  desirable  event  to  the  kingdom  of  Damas- 
cus, which,  though  overthrown  by  David,  was  restored 
by  Rezon  in  Solomon's  time  (p.  179.)  Attacks  of  Judah 

1  Song  of  Solomon  vi.  4. 


on  Israel  could  not  be  supported  by  Damascus,  because 
they  might  lead  to  a  reunion,  and  for  the  same  reason 
Israel  could  not  be  allowed  to  subjugate  Judah.  This 
seems  to  have  been  the  reason  which  induced  Benha- 
dad  of  Damascus  to  accede  to  the  request  of  Asa,  king 
of  Judah,  when  Baasha  had  entrenched  Ramah  against 
Jerusalem.  Benhadad's  invasion  of  the  north  of  Israel, 
the  desolation  of  the  district  on  the  Upper  Jordan  and 
the  lake  of  Genesareth^gave  relief  to  the  oppressed  king- 
dom of  Judah  (p.  235).  Baasha's  son  Elah  was  slain  at 
a  banquet  at  Tirzah,  after  a  short  reign  (901 — 899  B.C.), 
by  Zimri,  one  of  the  captains  of  his  army,  who  seized 
the  crown.  But  the  army  of  Israel,  which  was  again 
encamped  at  Gibbethon,  on  hearing  of  what  had  taken 
place  at  Tirzah,  elected  Omri,  their  leader,  king.  Omri 
broke  up  the  siege  of  Gibbethon,  marched  to  Tirzah, 
and  took  the  city.  Zimri  despaired  of  maintaining  him- 
self in  the  royal  castle,  and  burnt  himself  in  it.  Yet 
Omri  was  not  master  of  Israel.  Half  of  the  people 
joined  Tibni,  the  son  of  Ginath.  Omri  gradually  gained 
the  upper  hand,  till  Tibni's  death  decided  the  matter 
in  his  favour. 

With  the  elevation  of  Omri  (899—875  B.C.)  a  third 
dynasty  ascended  the  throne  of  Israel,  while  in  Judah 
the  crown  continued  peacefully  in  the  family  of  David. 
Like  Baasha,  Omri  founded  a  newresidence;  he  removed 
his  seat  from  Tirzah  to  Mount  Shomron,  and  here  built 
the  new  city  of  that  name  (Samaria).  Nothing  is  said 
of  the  wars  of  Omri  against  Judah.  To  Benhadad  of 
Damascus  he  seems  to  have  lost  some  towns  in  the  land 
of  Gilead.2  That  he  ruled  with  address,  vigour,  and  a 
strong  hand  is  clear  from  the  inscription  on  a  monu- 
ment which  Mesha,kingof  Moab,  caused  to  be  erected  in 
his  city  of  Dibon  (east  of  the  Dead  Sea).  This  tells  us 

1  1  Bangs  xv.  20.  2  1  Kings  xx.  34. 


that  Omri  and  his  son  after  him  held  Moab  in  subjec- 
tion for  40  years  ;  that  not  only  was  the  city  of  Nebo 
garrisoned  by  the  Israelites,  but  Omri  even  took  Meda- 
bah,  i.  e.  the  region  south  of  Nebo  towards  Dibon,  and 
occupied  it,  and  "  oppressed  Moab  for  a  long  time," 
because  "  Camos,  the  god  of  the  Moabites,  was  angry 
at  his  land."1  As  Mesha  regained  his  independence  after 
the  death  of  Ahab,  the  son  of  Omri,  the  more  severe 
subjection  of  the  Moabites  by  Omri  must  have  begun 
in  the  year  893  B.C,  Omri  seems  to  have  entered  ioto 
friendly  relations  with  Ethbaal,  king  of  Tyre  (917 — 
885  B.C.),  or  his  successor  Balezor  (885 — 877  B.C.).2 
Omri's  authority  and  reputation  must  have  been  con- 
siderable, since  even  after  the  overthrow  of  his  house, 
in  the  second  half  of  the  ninth  century  B.C.,  the  kings 
of  Assyria  speak  of  the  king  of  Israel  as  "  the  son  of 
Omri,  "and  the  kingdom  of  Israel  as  the  "house  of  Omri." 
Ahab,  Omri's  son  (875 — 853  B.C.),  maintained  the 
power  which  his  father  had  won.  The  Books  of  Kings 
tell  us  that  Mesha,  king  of  Moab,  sent  him  yearly  the 
wool  of  100,000  sheep  and  lambs,3  and  Mesha  him- 
self tells  us  that  Omri  was  followed  by  his  son,  who 
also  said,  "  I  will  oppress  Moab  ; "  and  Israel  "  dwelt  at 
Medabah  for  40  years  in  the  days  of  Omri  and  Ahab." 
That  the  Ammonites  also  were  subject  to  Ahab  seems 
a  just  conclusion  from  the  inscriptions  of  Shalmanesar, 
king  of  Assyria.4  With  Tyre  Ahab  was  in  close  con- 
nection. His  wife  Jezebel  was  the  daughter  of  Eth- 
baal, king  of  Tyre,  the  aunt  of  Mutton,  the  contempo- 
rary king  of  Tyre  (p.  208).  He  was  on  friendly  terms 
with  Judah,  which  began  to  rise  again  (as  we  saw) 

1  Noldeke,  "  Inschrift  des  Mesa." 

2  Infra,  chap.  xi.  3  2  Kings  iii.  4. 

4  The  inscription  of  Kurkh  enumerates  in  the  army  of  the  Syrians 
at  Karkar  men  from  Ammon  under  Bahsa,  the  son  of  Kuchub  (Kehob) ; 
Schrader,  "  Keilinschriften  undA.  T."  s.  95. 

240  ISRAEL. 

under  the  rule  of  Jehoshaphat.  Jehorain,  the  son  of 
Jehoshaphat,  was  married  to  Athaliah,  the  daughter  of 
Ahab  and  Jezebel.1  On  the  vine-clad  hills  of  Jezreel 
Ahab  built  himself  a  palace  adorned  with  ivory,  after 
the  pattern  of  the  Phenician  princes.2 

The  rites  of  the  neighbouring  tribes,  the  worship  of 
Astarte,  Carnos,  and  Milcom,  which  found  their  way 
into  the  Hebrew  tribes,  and  even  to  Jerusalem  in  the 
last  years  of  Solomon's  reign,  were  again  removed  in 
Judah,  as  we  have  seen  (p.  235),  under  the  reigns  of 
Asa  and  Jehoshaphat.  For  Israel  the  dedication  of 
the  places  of  worship  at  Bethel  and  Dan  to  Jehovah, 
which  Jeroboam  instituted,  in  spite  of  the  erection 
of  the  image  of  Jehovah,  marked  a  reaction  against 
the  rites  of  the  Canaanites.  But  the  connection 
into  which  Ahab  entered  with  T}^re  brought  it  about 
that  the  gods  of  the  Phenicians  were  again  looked 
on  with  reverence  in  Israel.  Induced  by  Jezebel,  his 
Tyrian  wife,  so  we  are  told,  Ahab  caused  a  temple 
to  be  erected  in  Samaria,  which  his  father  had  built, 
to  Baal  of  Tyre,  at  which  450  priests  maintained  the 
worship ;  and  a  temple  was  also  dedicated  to  Astarte, 
which  gave  occupation  to  400  priests.3 

It  was  an  ancient  custom  among  the  Hebrews,  as  we 
have  already  found  more  than  once,  to  inquire  of  Jeho- 
vah what  should  be  done.  In  Israel  the  custom  of  thus 
making  inquiry  was  more  widely  spread  than  in  other 
nations.  Before  any  undertaking  inquiry  was  made  of 
his  will  Jehovah's  voice  decided  the  sentence  in  the 
judgment  court.  It  was  usual  in  all  cases  and  times  to 
appeal  to  the  decision  of  Jehovah.  Question  and  answer 
were  made,  as  has  been  remarked,  by  the  priests  casting 
lots  before  the  sacred  ark,  the  altars,  and  the  images 

1  2  Kings  viii.  18.  2  1  Kings  xxi.  1 ;  xxii.  39 ;  2,  ix.  15  ff. 

3  1  Kings  xvi.  31—33  ;  xviii.  19;  2,  iii.  2. 


of  Jehovah.  If  a  criminal  had  to  be  discovered,  the 
tribes  and  races  came  forward,  and  he  was  marked  out 
by  the  lot  cast  before  Jehovah.  We  saw  that  Saul 
inquired  of  Jehovah  on  his  campaign  (p.  124).  David 
undertook  nothing  without  inquiring  of  the  image  of 
Jehovah  which  he  carried  about  with  him  (p.  139). 
If  any  one  wished  to  mark  out  the  wisdom  of  any 
advice,  it  was  said,  "  It  is  as  if  Jehovah  had 
answered."  But  beside  the  priests  who  cast  the  lots, 
there  were  men  who  saw  into  what  was  hidden,  and 
knew  the  future.  To  these  soothsayers  men  went  as 
well-as  to  the  lot  before  Jehovah  ;  they  desired  to  know 
whether  there  would  be  rain  or  drought,  where  a  lost 
beast  was  to  be  found ;  they  inquired  for  remedies  for 
disease.  The  soothsayers  even  pronounced  sentences 
at  law,  and  their  sentence  was  then  as  the  sentence  of 
Jehovah.  It  was  Jehovah  who  illuminated  such  men, 
and  imparted  to  them  a  keener  vision,  a  higher  know- 
ledge. They  believed,  as  the  people  believed  of  them — 
and  the  belief  was  stronger  as  the  religious  feeling  was 
more  intense — that  they  stood  in  a  nearer  and  closer 
relation  to  Jehovah.  If  they  also  foretold  events  for 
reward,  yet  they  lived  in  the  belief  that  they  knew 
the  will  and  the  counsels  of  Jehovah,  and  in  this  con- 
viction they  gave  advice  and  judgment ;  they  were  not 
only  soothsayers,  but  seers.  In  such  a  conviction  mere 
prediction  passed  into  prophecy,  i.  e.  into  the  revelation 
of  the  will  of  Jehovah  by  the  mental  certainty  of  the 
seer.  In  this  position  we  found  Samuel,  who,  from 
being  a  priest,  had  attained  to  a  knowledge  of  the  will 
of  Jehovah  ;  he  was  at  once  priest,  soothsayer  for  hire, 
and  prophet ;  i.  e.  he  not  only  announced  external 
matters  still  in  the  future,  but  also  announced  the  just 
decision,  the  resolve  pleasing  to  God.  He  gathered 
disciples  round  him,  who  praised  Jehovah  with  harp 

VOL.  II.  R 

212  ISRAEL. 

and  lute,  and  waited  to  see  his  face,  and  became 
changed  into  other  men  (p.  117).  Gad  and  Nathan, 
with  whom  David  and  Solomon  took  counsel,  were 
men  of  this  style  and  tone.  With  the  loftier  impulses 
which  the  religious  life  received  both  on  the  ritual 
and  legal  side,  as  well  as  on  the  side  of  religious 
feeling  under  David  and  Solomon,  with  the  survey  of 
the  fortunes  which  Jehovah  had  prepared  for  his 
people,  with  the  expression  of  intense  devotion  in 
that  poetry  to  which  David  opened  the  way,  the  eleva- 
tion of  mind  in  the  prophets  must  have  been  increased 
and  extended ;  their  views  must  have  become  deeper. 
In  the  kingdom  of  Israel,  so  far  as  our  knowledge 
goes,  the  seers  and  prophets  had  made  no  protest 
against  the  worship  of  Jehovah  under  an  image.  But 
they  came  forward  with  decisive  opposition  to  the 
worship  of  Baal  and  Astarte,  the  strange  gods  which 
Ahab  and  Jezebel  had  introduced  into  Samaria  and 
Israel.  Ahab  decreed  persecution  against  them,  which 
strengthened  instead  of  breaking  the  intensity  of  their 
faith,  their  adhesion  and  devotion  to  the  God  of  the 
ancestors.  They  were  driven  to  live  in  solitudes,  deserts, 
ravines,  and  caves.  On  their  privations,  fasts,  and 
lonely  contemplations  in  the  silence  of  the  desert  fol- 
lowed dreams  and  ecstatic  visions.  By  these  the  close 
and  favoured  relation  of  the  persecuted  to  the  God  of 
Israel  became  an  established  certainty.  The  power 
of  prediction  passed  into  the  background  as  compared 
with  this  awakening  by  Jehovah,  and  the  duty  to 
strive,  contend,  and  suffer  for  the  worship  of  the  God 
of  the  nation  against  strange  gods.  If  a  prophet  who 
had  lifted  up  his  voice  against  the  sacrifice  to  Baal  was 
compelled  to  fly  before  the  king  into  the  desert,  he 
was  followed  thither  by  eager  associates,  who  had  at 
heart  the  worship  and  service  of  Jehovah.  These 


listened  to  his  words  and  promptings;  these  were  his  dis- 
ciples. The  numbers  of  the  awakened  and  illuminated 
increased ;  amid  danger  and  in  privation  their  religious 
life  became  more  earnest ;  their  zeal  for  Jehovah  and 
their  hatred  of  the  strange  gods  and  their  worshippers 
became  deeper  as  the  persecution  fell  heavier  upon  them. 
They  became  men  of  word  and  action. 

Strengthened  in  this  conflict  for  zealous  struggles  in 
behalf  of  the  ancient  Lord,  oppressed  and  persecuted 
for  their  faithfulness  to  the  God  of  Israel,  their  relation 
to  him  took  the  shape  of  an  inward  conviction  of  great 
force  and  intensity.  Filled  with  their  belief  and  the 
revelations  which  Jehovah  had  imparted  to  them,  they 
came  forward  in  the  boldest  manner  to  oppose  the 
apostate  kings ;  their  zeal  for  Jehovah  rose  to  the 
wildest  fanaticism,  which  shrunk  from  no  means  of 
destroying  the  servants  of  the  strange  gods.  To  bring 
into  light  the  force  of  their  opposition  to  the  wicked 
kings,  and  the  power  which  Jehovah  gives  to  his  faith- 
ful servants,  tradition  has  adorned  with  many  miracles 
the  lives  of  Elijah  and  Elisha,  the  men  who  in  Ahab's 
time  transformed  the  prognostications  of  the  seers  into 
a  prophetic  censure.  Elijah  is  said  to  have  ascended 
to  heaven  in  a  chariot  of  fire,  and  even  the  corpse  of 
Elisha  worked  miracles. 

At  the  urgent  request  of  Jezebel,  so  we  are  told, 
Ahab  gave  orders  that  the  prophets  of  Jehovah,  who 
roused  the  people  against  him,  should  be  driven  out 
of  the  land  or  put  to  death.1  Elijah  retired  from 
Thisbe  in  Gilead,  first  to  the  region  of  Jordan,  and  then 
to  Zarephath  (Sarepta)  in  the  land  of  the  Sidonians ; 2 
and  finally  he  found  a  place  of  refuge  in  the  ravines  of 
Carmel,  on  the  sea-shore.  A  girdle  of  skins  surrounded 
his  loins,  and  a  mantle  of  hair  covered  his  shoulders ; 

1  1  Kings  xviii.  4—13,  17  ;  xix.  10—14.         2  1  Kings  xvii.  9,  10. 

K  '2 

244  ISRAEL. 

ravens  were  said  to  have  brought  bread  and  flesh  to 
the  hungry  prophet  in  the  desert.1  It  came  to  pass 
that  there  was  a  long  drought  in  Israel.  In  this  time 
of  distress  Elijah  came  forth  from  his  hiding-place  to 
point  out  the  anger  of  Jehovah  on  the  king  and  the 
people  for  their  worship  of  Baal,  and  to  proclaim  relief 
if  they  returned  to  the  God  of  Israel.  He  requested 
Ahab  to  gather  the  people  and  all  the  priests  of  Baal 
and  Astarte  to  Car m el,  and  there  Jehovah  would  send 
rain.  To  this  request  Ahab  agreed.  "  How  long  will 
ye  halt  on  both  knees,  and  go  after  Jehovah  as  well  as 
Baal,"  cried  Elijah  to  the  assembled  multitude.  "  I  alone 
am  left  of  the  prophets  of  Jehovah,  and  the  prophets 
of  Baal  are  450  men.  Give  us  then  two  bulls  :  one 
to  me,  and  one  to  the  priests  of  Baal.  We  will 
cut  them  in  pieces  and  lay  them  on  the  wood, 
and  the  God  who  answers  with  fire  shall  be  our 
God."  The  priests  of  Baal  slew  their  bull,  laid  him 
on  the  wood,  and  called  on  Baal  from  morning  to 
mid-day,  and  said,  O  Baal,  hear  us !  But  in  vain. 
Meanwhile  Elijah,  so  the  narrative  continues,  built  an 
altar  of  12  stones,  for  the  12  tribes,  and  made  a  trench 
round  it ;  cut  the  bull  in  pieces,  and  laid  him  on  the 
wood  of  the  altar,  and  thrice  poured  water  over  all. 
When  he  called  on  Jehovah — to  make  it  known  on 
that  day  that  he  was  God  in  Israel,  and  Elijah  was  his 
servant — fire  fell  from  heaven  and  consumed  the  burnt 
offering,  and  the  wood,  and  the  stones,  and  the  altar. 
All  the  people  fell  on  their  faces,  and  Elijah  said, 
Seize  the  prophets  of  Baal ;  let  none  of  them  escape. 
The  people  fell  upon  them  ;  they  were  brought  down 
from  the  mountain,  arid  Elijah  slew  them  at  the  brook 
Kishon.  Then  a  little  cloud  was  seen  from  Carmel 
rising  out  of  the  sea,  of  the  size  of  a  man's  hand,  and 

1  2  Kings  i.  8;  1,  xvii.  4—6. 


Elijah  said  to  the  king,  "  Harness  thy  chariot  and  haste 
away,  that  the  rain  overtake  thee  not."  The  sky  was 
quickly  covered  with  black  clouds,  and  heavy  rain 
followed  upon  storms  of  wind.  But  Elijah  ran  before 
Ahab  to  his  palace  in  Jezreel.1  Of  this  narrative, 
which  belongs  to  the  prophetic  revision  of  the  annals, 
we  may  perhaps  retain  with  certainty  the  facts  that 
Elijah  declared  a  severe  famine  and  drought  in  the  land 
to  be  the  punishment  of  Jehovah  for  the  worship  of 
Baal ;  that  the  excited  people  slew  the  priests  of  Baal  ; 
that  Ahab  accorded  to  the  prophets  of  Jehovah  per- 
mission to  return  to  their  homes  and  liberty ;  and 
that  the  worship  of  Jehovah  in  Israel,  which  had  been 
seriously  threatened  by  those  rites,  regained  the  upper 
hand  and  decided  victory,  though  it  could  not  entirely 
drive  out  the  worship  of  Baal. 

The  increase  in  the  strength  of  Israel  under  Omri 
and  Ahab,  the  connection  into  which  Ahab  entered 
with  Jehoshaphat  of  Judah,  the  alliance  between 
the  two  houses,  must  have  appeared  to  Benhadad 
II.,  the  king  of  Damascus,  a  serious  matter  for  his 
own  position.  For  this  or  for  other  reasons  he  broke 
with  Ahab,  and  renewed  the  struggle  which  had  gone 
on  in  Omri's  time  between  Israel  and  Damascus.  He 
invaded  Israel  with  all  his  power :  32  kings  were 
with  him  —  such  is  the  no  doubt  greatly  exagger- 
ated account.  Ahab  fell  upon  the  Aramaeans  while 
Benhadad  was  at  a  banquet,  and  though  his  army 
was  only  7000  strong,  he  obtained  a  great  victory. 
Then,  as  we  are  told  in  the  prophetic  revision  of  the 
Books  of  Kings,  Benhadad's  servants  advised  him  to 
contend  with  the  Israelites  on  the  plain ;  their  gods 
were  gods  of  the  hills,  and  therefore  they  had 
gained  the  victory.  Benhadad  came  in  the  next  year 

1  1  Kings  xviii.  17—46. 

246  ISRAEL. 

with  an  army  of  Aramaeans,  which  filled  the  land. 
Nevertheless  Ahab  again  defeated  them  at  Aphek 
(eastward  of  Lake  Merom),  and  so  utterly  overthrew 
them  that  Benhadad  sent  his  servants  with  sack- 
cloth about  their  loins,  and  halters  round  their  heads, 
to  Ahab  to  pray  for  mercy.  This  Ahab  granted, 
and  Benhadad  in  turn  undertook  to  restore  the  cities 
which  his  father  had  taken  from  the  father  of  Ahab, 
i.  e.  from  Omri. 

The  princes  of  Syria  had  every  reason  to  forget  their 
hatred  and  make  up  their  quarrels.  Assurbanipal  and 
Shalmanesar  II.,  kings  of  Assyria,  had  attacked  and 
subjugated  the  districts  on  the  Euphrates,  and  estab- 
lished fortresses  there.  The  former  forced  his  way  as 
far  as  the  Orontes  and  the  Amanus ;  the  latter  had 
already  subjugated  Cilicia.  In  the  year  854  B.C. 
Shalmanesar  II.  left  Nineveh  in  the  spring,  crossed  the 
Euphrates,  demanded  tribute  there,  and  then  turned 
towards  Damascus.  He  came  upon  Benhadad  (Bin- 
hidri)  of  Damascus,  to  whom  Ahab  (Achabbu),  king  of 
Israel,  as  well  as  the  king  of  Hamath,  and  the  king  of 
Aradus,  together  with  some  other  Syrian  kings,  had 
brought  up  their  forces.  To  the  army  of  the  Syrians 
Shalmanesar  allowed  more  than  60,000  men  —  he 
enumerates  12  princes  who  combined  to  oppose  him. 
Damascus  furnished  the  strongest  contingent,  viz., 
20,000  men  and  1200  chariots;  then  came  Israel, 
with  10,000  men  and  200  chariots;  and  Hamath,  with 
10,000  men  and  700  chariots.  The  armies  met  at 
Karkar.  The  king  of  Assyria  claims  the  victory;  he 
professes  to  have  captured  the  chariots  and  horsemen 
of  the  Syrians,  and  to  have  cut  down  their  leaders. 
According  to  one  inscription  14,000  Syrians,  accord- 
ing to  two  others  20,500,  were  left  on  the  field.  But 
Shalmanesar  says  nothing  of  the  subjection  of  the 


princes  who  fought  against  him,  or  of  the  payment  of 
tribute  by  those  who  are  said  to  be  vanquished,  or  of 
conquered  cities.  Hence  the  truth  is  that  the  combined 
forces  of  the  Syrians  succeeded  in  repulsing  the  attack 
of  the  Assyrians.  This  was  their  victory,  though  they 
may  not  have  obtained  the  victory  on  the  field.1 

1  The  objections  which  have  been  made  against  the  assumption  that 
the  king  of  Damascus  and  Achabbu,  against  whom  and  their  confederates 
Shalmanesar  fought  at  Karkar,  according  to  the  monument  of  Kurkh 
(col.  2),  were  Benhadad  II.  of  Damascus  of  the  Books  of  Kings  and 
Ahab  of  Israel  are  untenable.  Shalmanesar  II.  marches  four  times 
against  a  king  of  Damascus;  subsequently,  four  years  after  his  last  war 
with  this  king,  he  marches  against  a  second  king  of  Damascus,  whose 
name  in  the  inscriptions  is  indubitably  Chazailu.  In  the  Books  of 
Kings  Benhadad,  Ahab's  contemporary  and  opponent,  is  overthrown 
by  Hazael,  who  becomes  king  of  Damascus  in  Benhadad's  place.  Thus 
we  obtain  a  certain  basis  for  identifying  the  Benhadad  overthrown 
by  Hazael  with  the  prince  of  Damascus  against  whom  Shalmanesar 
fought  four  times.  Hence  on  the  reading  of  the  name  of  this  opponent 
of  Shalmanesar  in  the  inscriptions  I  cannot  place  special  weight, 
especially  as  the  Assyrian  symbol  for  the  deity  in  the  name  in 
question  is  well  known  to  have  more  than  one  signification.  If  a 
further  objection  is  made,  that  Ahab  cannot  have  combined  with 
Damascus  against  Assyria,  but  rather  with  Assyria  against  Damas- 
cus, in  order  to  get  rid  of  that  opponent,  the  answer  is  that  Ahab 
had  reduced  Damascus  before  Shalmanesar's  first  march  against  the 
city.  Ahab  had  released  Benhadad  under  a  treaty  (1  Kings  xx.  34), 
and  they  "  were  at  peace  three  years  "  (1  Kings  xxii.  3).  Hence 
at  this  moment  Ahab  was  not  in  need  of  the  assistance  of  Assyria. 
That  free  leagues  are  altogether  inconceivable  among  the  Syrian 
princes  of  that  time  is  an  assumption  contradicted  by  numerous  state- 
ments in  the  Egyptian  monuments  of  Tuthmosis  III.,  of  Eamses  II. 
and  III. ,  and  yet  more  numerous  statements  in  the  Assyrian  inscrip- 
tions. Not  much  weight  can  be  allowed  to  the  late  and  very  general 
statements  of  Nicolaus  in  Josephus.  If  Nicolaus  (Joseph.  "  Antiq."  7, 
5,  2)  calls  the  opponent  of  David  Hadad,  the  Books  of  Kings  do  not 
mention  the  name  of  the  king  of  Damascus  against  whom  David 
contends.  If  he  maintains  that  the  grandson  of  Benhadad  I.,  the 
third  of  the  name,  desolated  Samaria,  it  is  rather  Benhadad  I.  of  the 
Books  of  Kings,  who  was  not  the  son  and  grandson  of  a  Benhadad,  but 
the  son  of  Tabrimmon,  and  grandson  of  Hesjon,  who  first  laid  Samaria 
waste  (1  Kings  xv.  18 — 20).  A  second  Benhadad  contends  with 
Ahab,  who  certainly  may  have  been  a  grandson  of  the  first,  but 
certainly  cannot  have  been  the  grandson  of  the  opponent  of  David.  If 
Nicolaus  further  tells  us,  that  after  Benhadad  I.  his  descendants  ruled 

248  ISRAEL. 

When  the  danger  threatened  by  the  attack  of  Assyria 
passed  away,  the  contention  between  Damascus  and 
Israel  broke  out  again.  The  Hebrew  Scriptures  tell 
us  that  Benhadad  did  not  keep  his  promise,  and  did 
not  restore  the  city  of  Ramoth  in  Gilead  to  Ahab. 
Ahab  may  have  thought  that  he  had  the  greater 
ground  for  complaint  against  Damascus,  as  he  took 
upon  himself  the  severe  battle  against  Assyria,  though 
it  was  Damascus,  and  not  Israel,  which  stood  in  the 
direct  line  of  danger.  He  united  with  Judah  against 
Damascus,  and  sent  a  request  to  Jehoshaphat,  king  of 
Judah,  to  march  out  with  him.  Jehoshaphat  answered, 
"  I  will  go  forth  as  thou  goest ;  my  people  as  thy 
people  ;  my  horses  as  thy  horses ; "  and  he  came  with 
his  warriors  to  Samaria.  Both  kings  sat  on  their 
seats  at  the  gate,  in  order  to  review  the  army  as  it 
passed  out;  and  the  prophets  of  Jehovah,  400  in 
number,  prophesied  good  things  to  them,  and  said, 
"Go  forth  against  Ramoth  in  Gilead;  Jehovah  will 
give  it  into  your  hands."  One  only  of  these  prophets, 
Michaiah,  the  son  of  Imlah,  prophesied  evil ;  Ahab, 
we  are  told,  caused  him  to  be  thrown  into  prison  till 
he  should  return  in  prosperity.1  A  battle  took  place 
in  the  neighbourhood  of  Ramoth  in  Gilead;  Ahab 
was  severely  wounded  by  an  arrow  which  passed  be- 

for  10  generations,  and  each  of  them  along  with  the  throne  received 
the  name  of  Benhadad,  this  is  contradicted  by  the  Books  of  Kings, 
not  merely  in  the  genealogy  of  the  first  Benhadad  of  those  books,  but 
also  in  the  fact  that  in  them  Benhadad  II. ,  the  contemporary  of  Ahab 
and  Jehoram,  is  overthrown  by  Hazael,  who  then  in  a  long  reign  over 
Damascus  inflicts  severe  injury  on  Israel  and  Judah.  Hazael  is  fol- 
lowed in  the  Books  of  Bangs  by  Benhadad  III.  That  ' '  Achabbu  from 
the  land  of  Sir'lai "  is  correctly  read  in  the  inscription  of  Kurkh  is  an 
ascertained  fact. 

1  The  prophetic  revision  explains  the  overthrow  of  Ahab  by  the 
fact  that  he  had  spared  Benhadad  in  the  previous  war,  when  Jehovah 
had  delivered  him  into  his  hand. 


tween  the  joints  of  his  mail ;  he  caused  the  wound  to  be 
bound  up,  and  returned  to  the  fight,  in  order  not  to  dis- 
courage his  warriors,  and  continued  to  stand  upright 
in  his  chariot,  though  his  blood  flowed  to  the  bottom 
of  it,  till  the  evening,  when  he  died.  When  the 
soldiers  heard  of  the  death  of  the  king  the  army 
dispersed  in  every  direction.  Jehoshaphat,  king  of 
Judah.  escaped  (853  B.C.). 

The  death  of  such  a  brave  warrior  as  Ahab  was  a 
heavy  blowr  to  the  kingdom  of  Israel.  We  are  not 
told  by  what  sacrifices  Ahaziah,  the  son  of  Ahab  and 
Jezebel,  had  to  purchase  peace  ;  we  only  know  that  the 
Moabites  revolted  from  Israel  on  the  news  of  the 
death  of  Ahab,  and  that  Mesh  a  no  longer  paid  the 
tribute  which  he  and  his  father  had  paid  to  Omri  and 
Ahab.  In  any  case  it  was  a  great  relief  for  Israel 
when  Shalmanesar,  king  of  Assyria,  in  the  years  851 
and  850  B.C.,  turned  his  arms  against  Hamath  and 
Damascus.1  In  this  way  Ahaziah's  younger  brother, 
Joram,  who  succeeded  him  after  a  short  reign  (851 — • 
843  B.C.),  was  able  to  attempt  to  subjugate  the  Moab- 
ites anew.  He  called  on  Jehoshaphat,  king  of  Judah, 
to  go  out  with  him,  and  Jehoshaphat  said,  "  I  am  as 
thou  art ;  my  horses  as  thy  horses,"  and  raised  not 
only  the  warriors  of  Judah,  but  those  of  Edom  also. 
The  attack  was  made  from  the  land  of  the  kingdom 
of  Judah  and  Edom  on  the  southern  border  of  the 
Moabites.  The  Moabites  were  defeated,  their  cities 
destroyed,  their  fields  laid  waste,  their  wells  filled  up. 
Mesha  threw  himself  into  the  fortress  of  Kir  Harosheth, 
which  is  probably  the  later  Kerak,  to  the  south  of  the 
Arnon,  not  far  from  the  east  shore  of  the  Dead  Sea. 
The  slingers  of  both  kings  surrounded  the  fortress,  and 
cast  stones  against  the  walls.  "  And  when  the  king  of 

1  Ninth,  and  tenth  year  of  Shalmanesar  II. 

250  ISRAEL. 

Moab  saw  that  the  battle  was  too  strong  for  him," 
and  he  had  attempted  in  vain  to  break  out,  "  he  took 
his  firstborn  son,  who  would  be  king  in  his  place,  and 
sacrificed  him  as  a  burnt  offering  on  the  wall.  And 
there  was  a  great  anger  against  Israel,  and  they 
returned  from  him,  and  went  back  into  their  own 
land"  (849  B.C.). 

Notwithstanding  this  fortunate  beginning,  the  cam- 
paign against  Moab,  as  is  allowed  even  by  the  Books  of 
Kings,  was  finally  wrecked.  This  termination  agrees 
with  the  statements  of  Mesha  on  the  monument  of 
Dibon.  "  Forty  years,"  it  says,  "  Israel  dwelt  in 
Medabah  ;  Camos  gave  it  back  in  my  days.  And 
the  king  of  Israel  built  Ataroth,  and  I  fought  against 
the  stronghold  and  took  it,  and  took  all  the  men 
captive,  and  brought  them  as  a  pleasing  spectacle  to 
Camos  and  Moab.  And  Camos  said  to  me,  Go  and 
take  Nebo  from  Israel ;  and  I  went  in  the  night  and 
fought  against  it  from  daybreak  to  mid-day ;  and  I 
took  it.  It  was  devoted  to  destruction  to  Ashtor- 
Camos  (I.  373) ;  and  I  took  from  thence  the  furniture 
of  Jehovah,  and  dragged  them  before  Camos.  And 
the  king  of  Israel  built  Jahaz,  and  placed  himself 
therein,  in  his  contest  against  me,  and  Camos  drove 
him  out  before  me.  I  took  from  Moab  200  men,  all 
the  chiefs,  and  led  them  out  to  Jahaz,  and  took  it,  in 
order  to  unite  it  to  Dibon.  I  built  Karho,1  the  gates, 
the  towers,  and  the  royal  palace.  I  built  Aroer,  and 
made  the  road  over  the  Arnon.  I  built  Beth  Bamoth, 
which  was  destroyed.  I  built  Bazor,  and  Beth  Dib- 
lathaim,  and  Beth  Baal-Meon.  And  Camos  said  to 
me,  Go  down  to  fight  against  Horonaim."  Here  our 
fragments  of  the  inscription  break  off.  We  see  that 

*  According  to  Noldeke,  "Inschrift  des  Mesa,"  the  upper  city  of 


Ahab's  successors,  Ahaziah  and  Joram,  attempted  to 
force  Moab  to  submission  by  planting  fortresses  in 
the  land ;  that  they  attempted  to  subjugate  the 
Moabites  from  Ataroth,  Nebo,  and  Jahaz.  When 
this  mode  of  warfare  did  not  succeed,  and  the  fortresses 
were  destroyed,  the  great  campaign  was  undertaken 
which  in  the  end  came  to  disaster,  unless  we  were  to 
place  this  campaign  before  the  time  when  Joram  built 
those  fortresses. 

It  was  impossible  for  Joram  to  entertain  any  further 
hopes  of  the  subjugation  of  Moab  when  Benhadad, 
after  escaping  from  the  attack  of  Shalmanesar,  turned 
upon  him.  The  Israelites  were  unable  to  keep  the 
field,  and  Joram  was  shut  up  in  Samaria.  The  supplies 
failed,  and  the  famine  is  said  to  have  been  so  grievous 
in  the  city  that  an  ass's  head  sold  for  80  shekels,  and 
the  fourth  part  of  a  cab  of  dove's  dung  for  five  shekels, 
and  mothers  even  laid  their  hands  upon  their  own 
children.  But  Elisha,  the  favourite  disciple  of  Elijah, 
is  said  to  have  urged  them  to  hold  out,  and  promised 
present  help  from  Jehovah.  Suddenly,  in  a  single 
night,  the  army  of  the  Aramaeans  disappeared.  They 
feared,  so  the  prophetic  revision  of  the  annals  relates, 
that  the  kings  of  the  Hethites  and  the  kings  of  Egypt 
had  set  out  to  the  aid  of  Joram.  As  Shalmanesar  of 
Assyria  tells  us  that  he  marched  in  the  year  846  B.C. 
with  120,000  men  against  Benhadad  of  Damascus 
and  Irchulina  of  Hamath,  we  may  assume  that  it  was 
the  approach  of  the  Assyrians  which  induced  Benhadad 
to  raise  the  siege  of  Samaria,  in  order  to  meet  the 
Assyrians  with  all  his  own  forces  and  those  of  Hamath. 
Here  again  Shalraariesar  announces  a  victory  obtained 
over  Benhadad  and  Irchulina  of  Hamath,  and  twelve 
princes,  and  again  the  victory  is  without  results. 

It  was  not  to  the  power  of  Shalmanesar,  but  to 

2.V2  ISRAEL. 

Elisha,  the  prophet  of  Israel,  that  Benhadad  of  Damascus 
succumbed.  For  what  reason  we  know  not,  Elisha 
left  Israel  and  went  to  Damascus.  Benhadad  lay  sick. 
He  sent  his  chosen  servant  Hazael  with  costly  presents 
to  Elisha  to  inquire  if  he  would  recover.  Elisha 
answered,  Say  to  him,  thou  shalt  recover;  but 
Jehovah  has  shown  me  that  he  will  die.  Hazael 
announced  the  message,  and  on  the  next  day  smothered 
the  king,  and  placed  himself  on  the  throne  of  Damascus 
(844  B.C.).  The  new  king  at  once  resumed  the  war 
with  Israel,  and,  as  it  would  appear,  not  without  the 
instigation  of  Elisha.1 

Jehoshaphat  of  Judah  had  died  a  few  years  previously 
(848  B  c.).  The  crown  passed  to  his  son  Jehoram,  the 
brother-in-law  of  Joram.  The  Edomites,  who  had  con- 
tinued to  follow  Jehoshaphat  into  the  field  against 
Moab,  revolted  from  him,  and  slew  the  Judaeans  who  had 
settled  in  Edom, — these  settlers  may  have  been  most 
numerous  in  the  harbour  city  of  Elath, — and  placed 
themselves  under  a  king.2  Jehoram  attempted  to 
reduce  them  in  vain ;  the  fortune  of  war  was  against 
him ;  he  was  surrounded  by  the  Edomites,  and 
was  compelled  to  force  his  way  with  his  chariots  of 
war  by  night  through  the  army  of  the  Edomites. 
The  Philistines  also  pressed  upon  Jehoram,  and  carried 
away,  even  from  Jerusalem,  captives  and  precious 
things.3  Jehoram's  reign  continued  for  four  years.  Yet 
the  misfortunes  of  Judah  do  not  seem  to  have  been 
very  heavy.  Jehoram's  son  Ahaziah,  the  nephew  of 
Joram  of  Israel,  who  came  to  the  throne  in  the  year 
844  B.C.,  was  soon  after  his  accession  in  a  position  to 
aid  his  uncle  against  the  men  of  Damascus.  Both 

1  1  Kings  xix.  15;  2,  viii.  7—15. 

2  Joeliv.  19;  Amos  i  11,  12. 

»  2  Chron.  xxi.  16 — 18  ;  Amos  i.  6 ;  cf.  infra,  p.  260,  n.  2. 


kings  encamped  at  Ramoth  Gilead,  in  order  to  main- 
tain the  city  against  Hazael.1  In  the  conflict  Joram 
was  wounded  ;  he  returned  to  Jezreel  to  be  healed, 
and  soon  after  Ahaziah  left  the  camp  at  Ramoth  in 
order  to  visit  his  uncle  in  his  sickness. 

To  Elisha  this  seemed  the  most  favourable  moment 
for  overthrowing  the  king  of  Israel,  and  he  urged 
Jehu,  the  foremost  captain  in  the  Israelite  army,  to 
revolt  against  the  wounded  king.  He  sent  one  of  his 
disciples  to  Ramoth  with  instructions  to  pour  oil  upon 
Jehu,  with  the  words,  "  Jehovah  says,  I  anoint  thee  to 
be  king  over  Israel."  The  chiefs  were  sitting  together 
at  Ramoth  when  the  messenger  of  Elisha  entered.  "  I 
have  a  message  for  Jehu,"  he  said  ;  and  poured  the  oil 
upon  him  with  the  words,  "  Jehovah,  the  God  of  Israel, 
anoints  thee  to  be  king  over  his  people,  and  says,  thou 
shalt  destroy  the  house  of  thy  master.  I  will  avenge 
the  blood  of  my  prophets  on  Jezebel.  The  house  of 
Ahab  shall  be  destroyed,  and  I  will  cut  off  from 
Ahab  what  pisseth  against  the  wall,  and  dogs  shall  eat 
Jezebel  in  Jezreel,  and  none  shall  bury  her."  The 
youth  had  scarcely  uttered  these  words  when  he 
returned  in  haste.  The  chiefs  and  the  servants  asked 
in  wonder,  "  Wherefore  came  this  madman  ? "  But  when 
Jehu  declared  to  them  what  had  taken  place,  they 
hastily  took  off  their  mantles,  and  spread  them  before 
Jehu's  feet ;  they  blew  trumpets  and  cried,  "  Jehu  is 

Jehu  at  once  set  out  with  a  host  to  Jezreel,  that  no 
tidings  might  precede  him.  The  watchmen  of  the 
tower  told  the  king  that  a  troop  was  coming  in  great 
haste,  and  apparently  led  by  Jehu.  Thinking  that 
Jehu  was  bringing  news  of  the  army,  the  wounded 
Joram  went  to  meet  him  with  his  guest,  Ahaziah,  king 

1  2  Kings  ix.  14. 

254  ISRAEL. 

of  Judah.  "  Is  it  peace  ? "  cried  Joram  to  Jehu.  "  What 
peace,"  he  replied,  "  while  the  whoredoms  of  thy  mother 
Jezebel  and  her  witchcrafts  are  so  many  ? "  In  terror 
Joram  cried  out,  "  There  is  treachery,  0  Ahaziah," 
and  turned  his  horses  to  escape  by  flight.  But  Jehu 
smote  him  with  an  arrow  in  the  back  through  the 
shoulders,  so  that  the  point  reached  the  heart.  Joram 
fell  dead  from  the  chariot.  Ahaziah  escaped.  From 
the  window  of  her  palace  at  Jezreel  Jezebel  saw  the 
death  of  the  king,  her  second  son.  By  this  her  own 
fate  was  decided.  But  her  courage  failed  not.  As 
Jehu  approached  she  called  to  him  from  the  window, 
"  Had  Zimri  peace,  who  slew  his  master  ? "  Jehu 
made  no  answer,  but  called  out,  "  Who  is  on  my 
side  ? "  Two  or  three  eunuchs  answered,  "  We  are." 
Then  Jehu  commanded,  "  Throw  the  queen  down." 
They  threw  the  widow  of  Ahab  out  of  the  window,  so 
that  her  blood  was  sprinkled  on  the  wall  and  oil 
Jehu's  horses,  and  the  ruthless  murderer  drove  over 
the  corpse.  She  had  survived  Ahab  ten  years.  Jehu 
went  into  the  palace,  ate  and  drank,  and  sent  a 
message  to  the  elders  of  the  tribes  and  the  captains  of 
the  fortresses  :  "  If  ye  are  on  my  side  and  obey  my 
voice,  slay  the  sons  of  Ahab  who  are  with  you,  and 
send  their  heads  to  Jezreel."  The  elders  feared  the 
murderer  to  whom  Joram  and  Jezebel  had  succumbed, 
and  did  as  he  bade  them.  Seventy  sons  and  grand- 
sons of  Ahab  were  slaughtered  ;  their  heads  were 
thrown  in  two  heaps  before  the  palace  at  Jezreel  by 
Jehu's  orders.  Then  he  spoke  in  scorn  to  the  people, 
"  I  have  slain  one ;  but  who  slew  all  these  ?  "  Still 
unsatisfied  with  blood,  he  caused  all  the  kindred  of  the 
royal  house,  all  the  councillors,  friends,  and  priests  of 
Joram  to  be  slain  (843  B.C.). 

Jehu  had  caused  the  king  of  Judah  to  be  closely 


pursued  on  that  day.  At  Jibleam  the  arrows  of  the 
pursuers  reached  Ahaziah ;  wounded  to  the  death,  he 
came  to  Megiddo,  and  there  he  died.  Thus  the  prospect 
was  opened  to  Jehu  of  becoming  master  of  the  king- 
dom of  Judah  also.  With  this  object  in  view,  he 
caused  the  brothers  and  relatives  of  the  murdered 
Ahaziah  to  be  massacred,  so  far  as  he  could  take 
them ;  in  all  they  were  42  men.1  But  meanwhile 
the  mother  of  the  murdered  Ahaziah,  Athaliah,  heard 
in  Judah  of  the  death  of  her  son  in  Israel,  and  seized 
the  reins  of  government  there.  She  determined  to 
retain  them  against  every  one  ;  and  on  her  side  also 
destroyed  all  who  stood  in  her  way.  She  did  not 
spare  even  her  own  grandsons,  the  sons  of  Ahaziah ; 
it  was  with  difficulty  that  the  king's  sister  succeeded 
in  saving  Joash,  the  infant  son  of  her  brother.2 

The  prophets  of  Israel  took  no  offence  at  the  cruel- 
ties of  Jehu,  to  which  they  had  given  the  first  impulse ; 
according  to  the  revision  of  the  annals,  they  even  pro- 
claimed to  him  the  word  of  Jehovah.  "  Because  thou 
hast  done  what  is  right  and  good  in  my  eyes,  and  hast 
executed  upon  the  house  of  Ahab  all  that  was  in  my 
heart,  thy  descendants  shall  sit  upon  the  throne  of 
Israel."3  Jehu  on  his  part  was  no  less  anxious  to  show 
his  gratitude  to  the  men  to  whom  he  owed  his  exalta- 
tion. He  summoned  the  priests  of  Baal,  and  announced 
to  them  in  craft,  "  Ahab  served  Baal  a  little,  but  Jehu 
shall  serve  him  much ; "  and  caused  a  great  sacrifice  to 
be  made  to  Baal ;  all  who  remained  absent  should  not 
live.  Thus  he  collected  all  the  servants  and  priests  of 
Baal  in  the  temple  of  the  god  at  Samaria.  The  sacri- 
fice began ;  Jehu  came  in  person  to  take  part  in  the 

1  2  Kings  x.  12—14.  3  2  Kings  xi.  1—3. 

3  2  Kings  x.  30.  ' '  To  the  fourth  generation ' '  may  have  been  added 
by  the  revision  post  eventum. 

2.56  ISRAEL.  •» 

solemnity ;  when  on  a  sudden  80  soldiers  entered  the 
temple  and  massacred  them  all.  The  two  pillars 
before  the  temple  were  burnt,  the  image  of  Baal  was 
thrown  down,  the  temple  was  destroyed,  and  the  place 

A  hundred  and  ten  years  had  elapsed  since  the 
revolt  of  the  ten  tribes  from  the  house  of  David  and 
the  division  of  Israel.  During  this  time  the  two  king- 
doms had  been  at  war,  and  had  summoned  strangers 
into  the  land  against  each  other ;  even  the  connec- 
tion into  which  they  had  entered  in  the  last  thirty 
years,  and  the  close  relations  existing  between  Ahab 
and  Joram  of  Israel  and  Jehoshaphat,  Jehoram  and 
Ahaziah  of  Judah  had  not  been  able  to  give  more  than 
a  transitory  firmness  and  solidity  to  the  two  kingdoms. 
In  the  kingdom  of  Judah  the  crown  continued  in  the 
house  of  David;  in  Israel  neither  Jeroboam's  nor  Baasha's 
race  had  taken  root.  And  now  the  house  of  Omri  also 
was  overthrown  and  destroyed  by  a  ruthless  murderer. 
With  Jehu  a  third  warrior  had  gained  the  crown  of 
Israel  by  a  violent  hand,  and  a  fourth  dynasty  sat 
upon  the  throne  of  Jeroboam. 

It  wns  a  favourable  circumstance  for  the  new  king 
of  Israel  that  Shalmanesar  II.  of  Assyria  again  made 
war  upon  Damascus.  On  the  mountains  opposite 
to  the  range  of  Lebanon,  so  Shalmanesar  tells  us, 
he  defeated  Hazael  of  the  land  of  Aram,  i.  e.  of 
Damascus,  in  the  year  842  B.C.  ;  he  slew  16,000  of 
his  warriors,  and  took  1121  war-chariots.  After  this 
he  besieged  him  in  Damascus,  and  destroyed  his  forti- 
fications. Jehu  could  hardly  think,  as  Ahab  had  done 
before  him,  of  joining  Damascus  in  resisting  Assyria ; 
his  object  was  rather  to  establish  the  throne  he  had 
usurped  by  submission  to  and  support  from  Assyria. 

1  2  Kings  x.  18—27. 


In  this  year,  as  Shalmanesar  tells  us,  he  sent  tribute 
like  Sidon  and  Tyre.  On  an  obelisk  in  his  palace  at 
Chalah,  on  which  Shalmanesar  caused  the  aiinals  of  his 
victories  to  be  written  and  a  picture  to  be  made  of  the 
offering  of  the  tribute  from  five  nations,  we  see  him 
standing  with  two  eunuchs  behind  him,  one  of  whom 
holds  an  umbrella,  while  two  others  lead  before  him  the 
deputies  of  Jehu.  The  first  Israelite  prostrates  himself 
and  kisses  the  ground  before  the  feet  of  Shalmanesar; 
seven  other  Israelites  bring  jars  with  handles,  cups, 
sacks,  goblets,  and  staves.  They  are  bearded,  with  long 
hair,  with  shoes  on  their  feet,  and  round  caps  on  their 
heads,  the  points  of  which  fall  slightly  backwards. 
The  under  garment  reaches  almost  to  the  ancles ;  the 
upper  garment  falls  in  two  parts  evenly  before  and 
behind  from  the  shoulders  to  the  hem  of  the  under 
garment.  The  inscription  underneath  runs :  "  The 
tribute  of  Jehu  (Jahua),  the  son  of  Omri  (Chumri)  : 
bars  of  gold,  bars  of  silver,  cups  of  gold,  ladles  and 
goblets  of  gold,  golden  pitchers,  lead,  and  spears: 
this  I  received." l 

Though  Jehu  submitted  to  the  Assyrians,  the  power 
and  spirit  of  Hazael  was  not  broken  by  his  defeat  or 
by  the  siege  of  Damascus.  Shalmanesar  speaks  of  a 
new  campaign  against  the  cities  of  Hazael  in  the  year 
839  B.C.  He  does  not  tell  us  that  he  has  reduced 
Damascus,  he  merely  remarks  that  Sidon,  Tyre,  and 
Byblus  have  paid  tribute  ;  and  again,  under  the  year 
835  B.C.  he  merely  notes  in  general  terms  that  he  has 
received  the  tribute  of  all  the  princes  of  the  land  of 
Chatti  (Syria).  Hazael  remained  powerful  enough  to 
take  from  Jehu,  who,  though  a  bloody  and  resolute 
murderer,  was  a  bad  ruler,  all  the  territory  on  the  east 
of  the  Jordan  which  Ahab  and  Joram  had  defended 

1  E.  Schrader,  "  Keilinschriften  und  A.  T."  s.  105. 

VOL.   II.  S 

253  ISRAEL. 

with  such  vigour.1  Under  Jehoahaz,  the  son  of  Jehu 
(815—798  B.C.),  the  power  of  Israel  sank  lower  and 
lower.  Hazael,  and  after  him  his  son,  Benhadad  III., 
pressed  heavily  upon  him.  Jehoahaz  was  compelled  to 
purchase  peace  by  further  concessions ; 2  his  whole 
fighting  force  was  reduced  to  10  chariots  of  war,  50 
horsemen,  and  10,000  foot-soldiers,  while  Ahab  had 
led  200  chariots  into  the  field. 

The  devastation  caused  by  Damascus  in  Israel  was 
terrible.  The  Books  of  Kings  represent  Elisha  as  saying 
to  Hazael,  "  The  fortresses  of  Israel  thou  shalt  set  on 
fire,  their  young  men  thou  shalt  slay  with  the  sword, 
their  children  thou  shalt  cut  in  pieces,  and  rip  up  their 
women  with  child ; "  3  and  in  the  prophet  Amos  we  are 
told  that  the  Damascenes  had  thrashed  Israel  with 
sledges  of  iron.  In  the  prophecies  of  Amos,  Jehovah 
says :  "  Therefore  I  will  send  fire  into  the  house  of 
Hazael,  to  consume  the  palaces  of  Benhadad,  and  break 
the  bars  of  Damascus,  and  destroy  the  inhabitants  of 
the  valley  of  idols."  4 

The  Assyrians  brought  relief  to  the  kingdom  of  Israel. 
In  the  Books  of  the  Kings  we  are  told,  "  Jehovah  gave 
Israel  a  saviour,  so  that  they  went  out  from  under  the 
hand  of  the  Aramaeans  (Syrians),  and  they  dwelt  in 
their  tents  as  yesterday  and  the  day  before." 5  It 
was  Bin-nirar  III.,  king  of  Asshur,  who  threatened 
Damascus  and  Syria.  In  the  year  803  B.C.  the  canon 
of  the  Assyrians  notices  a  campaign  of  this  king 
against  Syria,  and  in  his  inscriptions  he  mentions  that 
he  had  conquered  Mariah,  king  of  Damascus  (who 
must  have  been  the  successor  of  Benhadad  III.),  and 
laid  heavy  tribute  upon  him.6  Though  Israel  (the 
house  of  Omri),  as  well  as  Sidon,  the  Philistines,  and 

1  2  Kings  x.  32.  »  2  Kings  xiii.  25. 

3  2  Kings  viii.  12.  *  Amos  i.  3. 

6  2  Kings  xiii.  5.  •     See  below,  p.  32fi. 


Edomites,  had  now  to  pay  tribute  to  the  conqueror  of 
Damascus,  yet  in  the  last  years  of  the  reign  of  Jehoa- 
haz  the  land  was  able  to  breathe  again,  and  Joash,  the 
grandson  of  Jehu  (798 — 790  B.C.1),  was  able  to  retake 
from  the  enfeebled  Damascus  the  cities  which  his 
father  had  lost,2  and  make  the  weight  of  his  arms  felt 
by  the  kingdom  of  Judah. 

In  Judah,  as  has  been  mentioned,  Jehoram's  widow, 
Athaliah,  the  mother  of  the  murdered  Ahaziah,  had 
seized  the  throne  (843  B.C.).  She  is  the  only  female 
sovereign  in  the  history  of  Israel.  Athaliah  was  the 
daughter  of  Ahab  of  Israel  and  Jezebel  of  Tyre ;  like 
her  mother,  she  is  said  to  have  favoured  the  worship 
of  Baal.  As  the  prophets  of  Israel  had  prepared  the 
ruin  of  the  house  of  Omri  in  Israel,  the  high  priest  of 
the  temple  at  Jerusalem,  Jehoiadah,  now  undertook  to 
overthrow  the  daughter  of  this  house  in  Judah.  Aha- 
ziah's  sister  had  saved  a  son  of  Ahaziah,  Joash,  while 
still  an  infant,  from  his  grandmother  (p.  255).  He 
grew  up  in  concealment  in  the  temple  at  Jerusalem, 
and  was  now  seven  years  old.  This  boy  the  priest 
determined  to  place  upon  the  throne.  He  won  the  cap- 
tains of  the  body-guard,  showed  them  the  young  Joash 
in  the  temple,  and  imparted  his  plan  for  a  revolt.  On  a 
Sabbath  the  body-guard  and  the  Levites  formed  a  circle 
in  the  court  of  the  temple.  Jehoiadah  brought  the  boy 
out  of  the  temple  and  placed  the  crown  upon  his  head ; 
he  was  anointed,  and  the  soldiers  proclaimed  him 
king  to  the  sound  of  trumpets.  The  people  agreed. 
Athaliah  hastened  with  the  cry  of  treason  into  the 
temple.  But  at  Jehoiadah's  command  she  was  seized 
by  the  body-guard,  taken  from  the  temple  precincts,  and 

1  Of  this  date  and  the  time  of  Amaziah  I  shall  treat  in  the  first 
chapter  of  Book  IV. 
"  2  Kings  xiii.  25. 

S  2 

260  ISRAEL. 

slain  in  the  royal  palace.  Then  the  boy  was  brought 
thither  by  the  Levites  and  solemnly  placed  upon  the 
throne.  "And  all  the  people  of  the  land  rejoiced, 
and  the  city  was  at  rest,"  say  the  Books  of  Kings 
(837  B.C.). 

The  victory  of  the  priesthood  had  the  same  result  for 
Judah  as  the  resistance  of  Elijah  and  the  prophets 
against  Ahab,  and  the  overthrow  of  his  house,  had  intro- 
duced in  Israel,  i.  e.  the  suppression  of  the  worship  of 
Baal.  The  temple  of  Baal  at  Jerusalem  was  destroyed  ; 
the  high  priest  of  it,  Mathan  by  name,  was  slain. 
Yet  the  number  of  the  worshippers  in  Jerusalem  must 
have  been  so  considerable,  and  their  courage  so  little 
broken,  that  it  was  thought  necessary  to  protect 
the  temple  of  Jehovah  by  setting  a  guard  to 
prevent  their  attacks.1  Jehoiadah  continued  to  act 
as  regent  for  the  young  king,  and  the  prophecies 
of  Joel,  which  have  come  down  to  us  from  this 
period,2  prove  that  under  this  regency  the  worship 
of  Jehovah  became  dominant,  that  the  festivals  and 
sacrifices  were  held  regularly  in  the  temple  at  Jeru- 
salem, and  that  the  ordinances  of  the  priests  were  in 
full  force.  When  Joash  became  ruler  he  carried  on  the 
restoration  of  the  temple,  which  had  fallen  into  decay, 
even  more  eagerly  than  the  priesthood.  His  labours 
were  interrupted.  It  was  the  time  when  Israel  could 
not  defend  themselves  against  Damascus.  Marching 

o  o 

through  Israel,  Hazael  invaded  Judah,  and  besieged 
Jerusalem.  Joash  was  compelled  to  ransom  himself 
with  all  that  his  fathers,  Jehoshaphat,  Jehoram,  and 
Ahaziah,  had  consecrated  to  Jehovah,  and  what  he 

1  2  Kings  xi.  3—20. 

*  They  fall  about  830  B.C.  The  minority  of  the  king  is  clear,  and 
the  verses  iv.  4  ff.  points  to  the  incursion  of  the  Philistines  into  Judah, 
mentioned  p.  252. 


himself  had  dedicated  in  the  temple,  and  with   the 
treasures  of  the  royal  palace.1 

Like  his  father  and  his  grandmother,  Joash  died  by 
a  violent  death.  Two  of  his  servants  murdered  him 
(797  B.C.)  ;  but  his  son  Amaziah  kept  the  throne,  and 
caused  the  murderers  of  his  father  to  be  executed.  He 
commenced  a  war,  for  what  reason  we  know  not,  with 
Israel,  who  was  now  fighting  with  success  against 
Damascus.  Joash  of  Israel  defeated  him  at  Bethshe- 
mesh ;  Amaziah  was  taken  prisoner  and  his  army 
dispersed.  The  king  of  Israel  occupied  Jerusalem, 
plundered  the  temple  and  the  palace,  and  did  not  set 
the  king  of  Judah  free  till  the  walls  of  Jerusalem  were 
thrown  down  for  a  space  of  400  cubits  from  the  gate 
of  Ephraim,  i.  e.  the  western  gate  of  the  outer  city  to 
the  corner  gate,  at  the  north-west  corner  of  Jerusalem, 
and  the  Judeeans  had  given  hostages  to  keep  the  peace 
for  the  future.  Against  the  Edomites  Amaziah  con- 
tended with  more  success.  He  defeated  them  in  the 
Valley  of  Salt ;  10,000  Edomites  are  said  to  have  been 
left  on  the  field  on  that  day.  The  result  of  the  victory 
was  the  renewal  of  the  dependence  of  Edom  on  Judah, 
though  not  as  yet  throughout  the  whole  extent  of 
the  land.  Amaziah  also  fell  before  a  conspiracy.  It 
was  in  vain  that  he  escaped  from  the  conspirators 
from  Jerusalem  to  Lachish ;  they  followed  him  and 
slew  him  there.  But  the  people  placed  his  son  Uzziah 
(Azariah),  though  only  16  years  old,  on  the  throne  of 
Judah  (792  B.C.).2 

1  2  Kings  xii.  17,  18.     The  occurrence  is  recorded  after  the  twenty- 
third  year  of  Joash,  and  the  twenty-third  year  was  815  B.C. 

2  The  subjugation  of  Edom  can  only  have  taken  place  after  the  year 
803  B.C.,  i.  e.  after  the  march  of  Bin-nirar  II.  to  the  sea-coast.     Bin- 
nirar  enumerates  Edom  among  the  tribute-paying  tribes  of  Syria.     On 
this  and  on  the  date  of  Uzziah's  accession,  cf.  Book  IV.  chap.  2. 



THE  voyages  of  the  Phenicians  on  the  Mediterra- 
nean; their  colonies  on  the  coasts  and  islands  of  that 
sea;  their  settlements  in  Cyprus,  Rhodes,  Crete,  the 
islands  of  the  ^Egean,  Samothrace,  and  Thasos,  on  the 
coasts  of  Hellas,  on  Malta,  Sicily,  and  Sardinia ;  their 
establishments  on  the  northern  edge  of  Africa  in  the 
course  of  the  thirteenth  and  twelfth  centuries  B.C.;  their 
discovery  of  the  Atlantic  about  the  year  1 100  B.C.,  have 
been  traced  by  us  already.  Of  the  internal  conditions 
and  the  constitution  of  the  cities  whose  ships  traversed 
the  Mediterranean  in  every  direction,  and  now  found 
so  many  native  harbours  on  the  coasts  and  islands,  we 
have  hardly  any  information.  We  only  know  that 
monarchy  existed  from  an  ancient  period  in  Sidon  and 
Tyre,  in  Byblus,  Berytus,  and  Aradus;  and  we  are 
restricted  to  the  assumption  that  this  monarchy  arose 
out  of  the  patriarchal  headship  of  the  elders  of  the 
tribes.  These  tribes  had  long  ago  changed  into  civic 
communities,  and  their  members  must  have  consisted 
of  merchant-lords,  ship-owners,  and  warehousemen,  of 
numerous  labourers,  artisans,  sailors,  and  slaves.  The 
accounts  of  the  Hebrews  exhibit  the  cities  of  the  Philis- 
tines, the  southern  neighbours  of  the  Phenicians  on 
the  Syrian  coast,  united  by  a  league  in  the  eleventh 
century  B  c.  The  kings  of  the  five  cities  of  the 


Philistines  combine  for  consultation,  form  binding 
resolutions,  and  take  the  field  in  common.  We  find 
nothing  like  this  in  the  cities  of  the  Phenicians.  Not 
till  a  far  later  date,  when  the  Phenicians  had  lost  their 
independence,  were  federal  forms  of  government  pre- 
valent among  them. 

The  campaigns  of  the  Pharaohs,  Tuthmosis  III., 
Sethos,  and  Eamses  II.,  did  not  leave  the  cities  of 
the  Phenicians  untouched  (I.  342).  After  the  reign 
of  Ramses  III.,  i.  e.  after  the  year  1300  B.C.,  Syria 
was  not  attacked  from  the  Nile ;  but  the  overthrow 
of  the  kingdom  of  the  Hittites  about  this  period,  and  the 
subjugation  of  the  Amorites  by  the  Israelites,  forced 
the  old  population  to  the  coast  (about  1250  B.C.). 
One  hundred  and  fifty  years  later  a  new  opponent 
of  Syria  showed  himself,  not  from  the  south,  but  from 
the  east.  Tiglath  Pilesar  I.,  king  of  Assyria  (1130 — 
1100  B.C.),  forced  his  way  over  the  Euphrates,  and 
reached  the  great  sea  of  the  western  land  (p.  42). 
His  successes  in  these  regions,  even  if  he  set  foot  on 
Lebanon,  could  at  most  have  reached  only  the  northern 
towns  of  the  Phenicians ;  in  any  case  they  were  of  a 
merely  transitory  nature. 

The  oldest  city  of  the  Phenicians  was  Sidon;  her 
daughter-city,  Tyre,  was  also  founded  at  a  very  an- 
cient period.  We  found  that  the  inscriptions  of  Sethos 
I.  mentioned  it  among  the  cities  reduced  by  him.  The 
power  and  importance  of  Tyre  must  have  gradually 
increased  with  the  beginning  of  a  more  lively  naviga- 
tion between  the  cities  and  the  colonies;  about  the 
year  1100  B.C.  her  navigation  and  influence  appears 
to  have  surpassed  those  of  the  mother-city.  If  Old 
Hippo  in  Africa  was  founded  from  Sidon,  Tyrian  ships 
sailed  through  the  Straits  of  Gibraltar,  discovered  the 
land  of  silver,  and  founded  Gades  beyond  the  pillars. 


Accordingly  we  also  find  that  Tyre,  and  not  Sidon,  was 
mistress  of  the  island  of  Cyprus. 

According  to  the  statements  of  the  Greeks,  a  king 
of  the  name  of  Sobaal  or  Sethlon  ruled  in  Sidon  at  the 
time  of  the  Trojan  war,  i.  e.  before  the  year  1100  B.C. ;x 
about  the  same  time  a  king  of  the  name  of  Abelbaal 
reigned  in  Berytus.2  From  a  fragment  of  Menander 
of  Ephesus,  preserved  to .  us  by  Josephus,  it  follows 
that  after  the  middle  of  the  eleventh  century  B.C. 
Abibaal  was  reigning  in  Tyre.  A  sardonyx,  now  at 
Florence,  exhibits  a  man  with  a  high  crown  on  his 
head  and  a  staff  in  his  hand ;  in  front  of  him  is  a 
star  with  four  rays ;  the  inscription  in  old  Phenician 
letters  runs,  "  Of  Abibaal."  Did  this  stone  belong  to 
king  Abibaal  ? 3 

Hiram,  the  son  of  this  king,  ascended  the  throne  of 
Tyre  while  yet  a  youth,  in  1001  B.C.  He  is  said  to 
have  again  subjugated  to  his  dominion  the  Kittians, 
i.  e.  the  inhabitants  of  Citium,  or  the  cities  of  Cyprus 
generally,  who  refused  to  pay  tribute.  What  reasons 
and  what  views  of  advantage  in  trade  induced  Hiram 
to  enter  into  relations  with  David  in  the  last  years  of 
his  reign,  and  unite  these  relations  even  more  closely 
with  Solomon,  the  successor  of  David,  has  been  re- 
counted above.  It  was  this  understanding  which  not 
only  opened  Israel  completely  to  the  trade  of  the 
Phenicians,  but  also  procured  to  the  latter  secure  and 
new  roads  through  Israel  to  the  Euphrates  and  Egypt, 
and  made  it  possible  for  them  to  discover  and  use  the 
road  by  sea  to  South  Arabia.  Thus,  a  good  century 
after  the  founding  of  Gades,  the  commerce  of  the 


Phenicians   reached    the   widest   extension   which   it 
ever  obtained.     We  saw  that  the  Phenicians  about  the 

1  Eustath.  ad  "  Odysseam,"  4,  617.  *  Vol.  i.  p.  352. 

3  De  Luynes,  "Essai  sur  la  numismatique  des  satrapies,"  p.  G9. 


year  990  B.C.  went  by  ship  from  Elatb  past  South 
Arabia  to  the  Somali  coast,  and  reached  Ophir,  i.  e. 
apparently  the  land  of  the  Abhira  (i.  e.  herdsmen) 
on  the  mouths  of  the  Indus.1  The  other  advan- 
tages which  accrued  to  Hiram  from  his  connection 
with  Israel  were  not  slight.  Solomon  paid  him, 
as  has  been  said,  20,000  Kor  of  wheat  and  20,000 
Bath  of  oil  yearly  for  20  years  in  return  for  wood 
and  choice  quarry  stones,  and  finally,  in  order  to  dis- 
charge his  debt,  had  to  give  up  20  Israelitish  towns 
on  his  borders. 

Hiram  had  to  dispose  of  very  considerable  re- 
sources :  his  receipts  must  have  been  far  in  excess  of 
Solomon's.  Of  the  silver  of  Tarshish  which  the  ships 
brought  from  Gades  to  Tyre,  of  the  gold  imported  by 
the  trade  to  Ophir,  of  the  profits  of  the  maritime  trade 
with  the  land  of  incense,  a  considerable  percentage  must 
have  come  into  the  treasury  of  the  king,  and  he  enjoyed 
in  addition  the  payments  of  Solomon.  In  any  case  he 
had  at  his  command  means  sufficient  to  enlarge,  adorn, 
and  fortify  his  city.  Ancient  Tyre  lay  on  the  sea- 
shore ;  with  the  growth  of  navigation  and  trade,  the 
population  passed  over  from  the  actual  city  to  an  island 
off  the  coast,  which  offered  excellent  harbours.  On  a 
rock  near  this  island  lay  that  temple  of  Baal  Melkarth, 
the  god  of  Tyre,  to  which  the  priests  ascribed  a  high 
antiquity  ;  they  told  Herodotus  that  it  was  built  in  the 
year  2750  B.C.  (I.  345).  Hiram  caused  this  island  to 
be  enlarged  by  moles  to  the  north  and  west  towards 
the  mainland,  and  protected  these  extensions  by  bul- 
warks. The  circuit  of  the  island  was  now  22  stades,  i.  e. 
more  than  two  and  a  half  miles ;  the  arm  of  the  sea,  which 
separates  the  island  from  the  mainland,  now  measured 

1  Above,  p.  188. 


only  2400  feet  (three  stades)  .l  The  whole  island  was  sur- 
rounded with  strong  walls  of  masonry,  which  ran  out 
sharply  into  the  sea,  and  were  washed  by  its  waves,  so 
that  no  room  remained  for  the  besieger  to  set  foot  and 
plant  his  scaling-ladders  there.  On  the  side  of  the 
island  towards  the  mainland,  where  the  docks  were, 
these  walls  were  the  highest.  Alexander  of  Macedon 
found  them  150  feet  high.  The  two  harbours  lay  on  the 
eastern  side  of  the  island — on  the  north-east  and  the 
south-east;  on  the  north-east  was  the  Sidonian  har- 
bour (which  even  now  is  the  harbour  of  Sur) ;  and  on 
the  south-east  the  Egyptian  harbour.  If  the  former 
was  secured  and  closed  by  huge  dams,  the  latter  also 
was  not  without  its  protecting  works,  as  huge  blocks 
in  the  sea  appear  to  show,  though  the  dams  here  were 
no  longer  in  perfect  preservation  even  in  Strabo's 
time.  On  the  south  shore  of  the  island,  eastward  of 
the  Egyptian  harbour,  lay  the  royal  citadel ;  on  the 
north-west  side  a  temple  of  Baal  Samim,  the  Age- 
norion  of  the  Greeks.  The  rock  which  supported  the 
temple  of  Melkarth  appears  to  have  been  situated 
close  to  the  city  on  the  west.2  This,  like  the  temple 
of  Astarte,  was  adorned  and  enlarged  or  restored  by 
Hiram.  For  the  roof  he  caused  cedars  of  Lebanon  to 
be  felled.  In  the  ancient  shrine  of  the  protecting 
deity  of  the  city,  the  temple  of  Melkarth,  he  dedi- 
cated a  great  pillar  of  gold,  which  Herodotus  saw 
there  500  years  later  beside  an  erect  smaragdus, 

1  Curt.  4,  8.   Pliny  ("  Hist.  Nat."  5,  17)  puts  the  distance  from  the 
mainland  at  700  paces  (double  paces). 

2  On  coins  of  Tyre  of  a  later  time  we  find  two  rocks,  which  indicate 
the  position  of  the  city.     Ezekiel  (xxvi.  4,  5)  threatens  that  she  shall 
be  a  naked  rock  in  the  sea  for  the  spreading  of  nets.  Joseph,  "c.  Apion," 
8,  5,  3;  Diod.  17,  46;  Arrian,  2,  21,  23.     Kenan's  view  ("  Mission  de 
rhenicie,"  p.  546  ff.)  on  the  Agenorion  has  been  adopted  ;  some  others 
of  his  results  appear  to  be  uncertain. 


which  was  so  large  that  it  gave  light  by  night.  This 
was  perhaps  a  symbol  of  the  light  not  overcome  by 
the  darkness.1 

Hiram  died  after  a  reign  of  34  years,  in  the  fifty- 
third  year  of  his  life.  His  son  Baleazar,  who  sat  on  the 
throne  for  seven  years  (967 — 960  B.C.),  was  succeeded 
by  his  son  Abdastartus  (i.  e.  servant  of  Astarte),  who, 
after  a  reign  of  nine  years  (960 — 951  B.C.),  fell  before 
a  conspiracy  headed  by  the  sons  of  his  nurse.  Abdas- 
tartus was  murdered,  and  the  eldest  of  the  sons  of  his 
nurse  maintained  his  dominion  over  Tyre  for  12  years 
(951 — 939  B.C.).  Then  the  legitimate  dynasty  returned 
to  the  throne.  Of  the  brothers  of  the  murdered  Abdas- 
tartus, Astartus  was  the  first  to  reign  (939 — 927  B.C.), 
and  after  him  Astarymus  (927 — 918  B.C.),  who  was 
murdered  by  a  fourth  brother,  Pheles.  But  Pheles 
could  not  long  enjoy  the  fruits  of  his  crime.  He  had 
only  been  eight  months  on  the  throne  when  he  was 
slain  by  the  priest  of  Astarte,  Ethbaal  (Ithobaal). 
With  Pheles  the  race  of  Abibaal  comes  to  an  end 
(917  B.C.). 

Ethbaal  ascended  the  throne  of  Tyre,  and  was  able 
to  establish  himself  upon  it.  He  is  said  to  have 
built  or  fortified  Bothrys  in  Lebanon,  perhaps  as  a 
protection  against  the  growing  forces  of  Damascus.2 
In  Israel,  during  Ethbaal's  reign,  as  we  have  seen, 
Omri  at  the  head  of  the  army  made  himself  master  of 
the  throne  in  899  B.C.,  just  as  Ethbaal  had  usurped  the 
throne  of  Tyre.  Both  were  in  a  similar  position. 
Both  had  to  establish  their  authority  and  found  their 
dynasty.  Ethbaal's  daughter  was  married  to  Ahab, 
the  son  of  Omri.  What  wTere  the  results  of  this 
connection  for  Israel  and  Judah  we  have  seen  already. 

1  Vol.  i.  367;  Menander  in   Joseph.  "  c.  Apion."  1,  17,  18. 
9  Joseph.  "Antiq."  8,  13,  2. 


To  what  a  distance  the  power  of  Tyre  extended  in 
another  direction  is  clear  from  the  fact  that  Ethbaal 
founded  Auza  in  the  interior  of  Africa,  to  the  south  of 
the  already  ancient  colony  of  Ityke  (p.  82).1  After 
a  reign  of  32  years  Ethbaal  was  succeeded  by  his  son 
Balezor  (885 — 877  B.c.).2  After  eight  years  Balezor 
left  two  sons,  Mutton  and  Sicharbaal,  both  under  age. 
Yet  the  throne  remained  in  the  house  of  Ethbaal,  and 
continued  to  do  so  even  when  Mutton  died  in  the 
year  853  B.C.,  and  again  left  a  son  nine  years  old, 
Pygmalion,  and  a  daughter  Elissa,  a  few  years  older, 
whom  he  had  married  to  his  brother  Sicharbaal,  the 
priest  of  the  temple  of  Melkarth.3  Mutton  had  in- 
tended that  Elissa  and  Pygmalion  should  reign 
together,  and  thus  the  power  really  passed  into  the 
hands  of  Sicharbaal,  the  husband  of  Elissa.  When 
Pygmalion  reached  his  sixteenth  year  the  people  trans- 
ferred to  him  the  sovereignty  of  Tyre,  and  he  put 
Sicharbaal,  his  uncle,  to  death,  either  because  he 
feared  his  influence  as  the  chief  priest  of  the  tutelary 
god  of  the  city,  or  because,  as  we  are  told,  he  coveted 
his  treasures  (846  B.C.).4 

Elissa  fled  from  Tyre  before  her  brother,  as  we 
are  told,  with  others  who  would  not  submit  to  the 
tyranny  of  Pygmalion.5  The  exiles  (we  may  perhaps 
suppose  that  they  were  members  of  old  families,  as  it 
was  apparently  the  people  who  had  transferred  the 

1  Joseph,  loc.  tit. 

2  In  order  to  bring  the  reigns  of  Josephus  into  harmony  with  his 
total,   the  total,  which  is  given  twice,  must  be  retained.      Hence 
nothing  remains  but  to  replace,  as  Movers  has  already  done,  the  three 
and  six  years  given  by  Josephus  for  Balezor  and  Mutton  by  the 
eight  and  25  years  given  by  Syncellus. 

3  On  the  identity  of  the  names  Acerbas,  Sichaeus,  Sicharbas,  Sichar- 
baal, Serv.  "ad  ^neid,"  1,  343 ;  Movers,  "Phoeniz."  2,  1,  355. 

4  Justin,  18,  4. 

*  Timaeus,  fragm.  23,  ed.  Miiller;  Appian,  "Rom.  Hist."  8,  1. 


throne  to  Pygmalion)  are  said  to  have  first  landed  at 
Cyprus,  then  to  have  sailed  to  the  westward,  and  to 
have  landed  on  the  coast  of  Africa,  in  the  neighbour- 
hood of  Ityke,  the  old  colony  of  the  Phenicians,  and 
there  to  have  bought  as  much  land  of  the  Libyans  as 
could  be  covered  by  the  skin  of  an  ox.  By  dividing 
this  into  very  thin  strips  they  obtained  a  piece  of  land 
sufficient  to  enable  them  to  build  a  fortress.  This  new 
dwelling-place,  or  the  city  which  grew  up  round  this 
fortress,  the  wanderers  called,  in  reference  to  their  old 
home,  Karthada  (Karta  hadasha),  i.  e.  "  the  new  city," 
the  Karchedon  of  the  Greeks,  the  Carthage  of  the 
Komans.  The  legend  of  the  purchase  of  the  soil 
may  have  arisen  from  the  fact  that  the  settlers  for 
a  long  time  paid  tribute  to  the  ancient  population,  the 
Maxyans,  for  their  soil.  The  ox-hide  and  all  that  is 
further  told  us  of  the  fortunes  of  Elissa,  her  resistance 
to  the  suit  of  the  Libyan  prince  larbas,1  her  self- 
immolation  in  order  to  escape  from  this  suit  (Virgil 
made  despised  love  the  motive  for  this  immolation),  is 
due  to  the  transference  of  certain  traits  from  the 
myths  of  the  horned  moon-goddess,  to  whom  the  cow 
is  sacred,  the  wandering  Astarte,  who  also  bore  the 
name  of  Dido,  and  of  certain  customs  in  the  worship 
of  the  goddess  to  Carthage ;  these  also  have  had  in- 
fluence on  the  narrative  of  the  flight  of  Elissa.2 

The  new  settlement  was  intended  to  become  an 
important  centre  for  the  colonies  of  the  Phenicians 
in  the  West.  The  situation  was  peculiarly  fortunate. 
Where  the  north  coast  of  Africa  approaches  Sicily 
most  nearly,  the  mountain  range  which  runs  along  this 
coast,  and  forms  the  edge  of  the  table-land  in  the 
interior,  sinks  down  in  gentle  declivities,  which  thus 

1  Timaeus,  fragm.  23,  ed.  Miiller. 

»  Vol.  i.  371 ;  Movers,  "Phoeniz."  1,  609  ft. 

270  P1KENICIA. 

form  water-courses  of  considerable  length,  to  a  fer- 
tile hill  country  still  covered  with  olive-gardens  and 
orange-forests.  From  the  north  the  sea  penetrates 
deeply  into  the  land  between  the  "  beautiful  promon- 
tory "  (Has  Sidi  Ali)  and  the  promontory  of  Hermes 
(Ras  Addar).  On  the  western  side  of  this  bay  a  ridge 
of  land  runs  out,  which  possesses  excellent  springs  of 
water.  Not  far  from  the  shore  a  rock  rises  steeply  to 
the  height  of  about  200  feet.  On  this  was  planted 
the  new  citadel,  Byrsa,  on  which  the  wanderers 
erected  a  temple  to  their  god  Esmun  (I.  377).  This 
citadel,  which  is  said  to  have  been  about  2000  paces 
(double  paces)  in  the  circuit,1  was  also  the  city  round 
which  at  a  later  time  grew  up  the  lower  city,  at  first 
on  the  south-east  toward  the  shore,  and  then  on  the 
north-west  toward  the  sea.  The  harbour  lay  to  the 
south-east,  under  the  citadel.  Some  miles  to  the  north 
of  the  new  settlement,  on  the  mouth  of  the  Bagradas 
(Medsherda),  at  the  north-west  corner  of  the  bay,  was 
Ityke,  the  ancient  colony  of  the  Phenicians,  which  had 
been  in  existence  for  more  than  two  centuries  when 
the  new  settlers  landed  on  the  shore  of  the  bay ;  and 
not  far  to  the  south  on  the  shore  was  Adrymes 
(Hadrumetum),  another  city  of  their  countrymen, 
which  Sallust  mentions  among  the  oldest  colonies  of 
the  Phenicians.2  The  Carthaginians  never  forgot  their 
affection  for  the  ancient  Ityke,  by  whose  assistance,  no 
doubt,  their  own  settlement  had  been  supported.3 

1  Oros.  4,  22 ;  Strabo,  p.  832.  2  Sail.  "Jug."  19. 

3  The  various  statements  about  the  year  of  the  foundation  of  Car- 
thage are  collected  in  Miiller,  "  Geograph.  Grseci  min.''  1,  xix.  It  is 
impossible  to  fix  the  foundation  more  accurately  than  about  the  middle 
of  the  ninth  century  B.C.  We  may  place  it  in  the  year  846  B.C.  if  we 
rest  on  the  143f  years  of  Josephus  from  the  building  of  the  temple 
(according  to  our  own  date  990  B.C.),  and  the  round  sum  given  by 
Appian  —  that  700  years  elapsed  from  the  founding  by  Dido  to  the 
destruction  of  the  city ;  "  Rom.  Hist."  8,  132. 


The  fragment  which  Josephus  has  preserved  from 
the  annals  of  the  kings  of  Tyre  ends  with  the  acces- 
sion of  Pygmalion  and  the  flight  of  Elissa.  More 
than  two  centuries  had  passed  since  the  campaign 
of  Tiglath  Pilesar  I.  to  the  Mediterranean,  during 
which  the  cities  of  the  Phenicians  had  suffered  nothing 


from  the  arms  and  expeditions  of  the  Assyrians.  But 
when  Balezor  and  Mutton,  the  son  and  grandson  of 
Ethbaal,  ruled  over  Tyre  (885 — 853  B.C.),  Assurbanipal 
of  Assyria  (883 — 859  B.C.)  began  to  force  his  way  to  the 
west  over  the  Euphrates.  When  he  had  reduced  the 
sovereign  of  Karchemish  to  obedience  by  repeated 
campaigns,  and  had  built  fortresses  on  both  banks  of 
the  Euphrates,  he  advanced  in  the  year  876  B.C.  to  the 
Orontes,  captured  the  marches  of  Lebanus  (Labnana), 
and  received  tribute  from  the  king  of  Tyre,  i.  e.  from 
Mutton,  from  the  kings  of  Sidon,  of  Byblus,  and  Aradus. 
According  to  the  inscriptions,  the  tribute  consisted  of 
bars  of  silver,  gold,  and  lead.  Assurbanipal's  successor, 
Shalmanesar  II.  of  Assyria  (859 — 823  B.C.),  pushed  on 
even  more  energetically  to  the  west.  After  forcing 
Cilicia  to  submit,  he  attacked  Hamath,  and  in  the 
year  854,  as  we  have  seen,  he  defeated  at  Karkar  the 
united  kings  of  Hamath,  Damascus,  and  Israel,  who 
were  also  joined  by  Matinbaal,  the  king  of  Aradus. 
But  Shalmanesar  was  compelled  to  undertake  three 
other  campaigns  to  Damascus  (850,  849,  and  846  B.C.) 
before  he  succeeded,  in  the  year  842  B.C.,  in  making 
Damascus  tributary.  As  has  been  remarked,  Israel 
did  not  any  longer  attempt  the  decision  of  arms, 
and  sought  to  gain  the  favour  of  Assyria-;  like  Tyre 
and  Sidon,  Jehu  sent  tribute  to  Shalmanesar.  This 
payment  of  tribute  was  repeated  perforce  by  Tyre, 
Sidon,  and  Byblus,  in  the  years  839  and  835  B.C.,  in 
which  Shalmanesar 's  armies  again  appeared  in  Syria. 

272  PH(ENICIA. 

Moreover,  the  inscriptions  of  Bin-nirar,  king  of  Assyria 
(810 — 781  B.C.),  tell  us  that  Damascus,  Tyre,  Sidon, 
Israel,  Edom,  and  the  land  of  the  Philistines  had  paid 
him  tribute.  It  is  obvious  that  the  cities  of  the 
Phenicians  would  have  been  as  a  rule  most  willing  to 
pay  it.  When  Assyria  had  definitely  extended  her 
dominion  as  far  as  the  Euphrates,  it  was  in  the  power 
of  the  Assyrian  king  to  stop  the  way  for  the  merchants 
of  those  cities  to  Mesopotamia  and  Babylon,  and  thus 
to  inflict  very  considerable  damage  on  the  trade  of  the 
Phenicians,  which  was  for  the  most  part  a  carrying 
trade  between  the  East  and  West.  What  were  the 
sums  paid  in  tribute,  even  if  considerable,  when 
compared  with  such  serious  disadvantages  ? 

Hitherto  we  have  been  able  to  observe  monarchy  in 
the  patriarchal  form  of  the  head  of  the  tribe,  in  the 
god-like  position  of  the  Pharaohs  of  Egypt,  in  the 
forms  of  a  military  principate,  who  ruled  with  despotic 
power  over  wide  kingdoms,  or  in  diminished  copies  of 
this  original.  It  would  be  interesting  to  trace  out 
and  ascertain  the  changes  which  it  had  now  to  undergo 
at  the  head  of  powerful  trading  and  commercial  cities 
such  as  the  Phenicians  were.  We  have  already  seen 
that  the  principate  of  these  cities  was  of  great  anti- 
quity, that  it  remained  in  existence  through  all  the 
periods  of  Phenician  history,  that  it  was  rooted  deeply 
enough  to  outlive  even  the  independence  of  the  cities. 
All  more  detailed  accounts  are  wanting,  and  even  induc- 
tions or  comparisons  with  the  constitution  of  Carthage 
in  later  times  carry  us  little  further.  Not  to  mention  the 
very  insufficient  accounts  which  we  possess  of  this  con- 
stitution, it  was  only  to  the  oldest  settlements  of  the 
Phenicians  in  Cyprus  that  the  monarchy  passed,  at 
least  it  was  only  in  these  that  it  was  able  to  maintain 
itself.  The  examination  of  these  institutions  of  Carthage 


is  adapted  to  show  us  in  contrast  on  the  one  hand  to 
the  tribal  princes  of  the  Arabians,  and  on  the  other  to 
the  monarchy  of  Elam,  Babel,  and  Asshur — what 
forms  the  feeling  and  character  of  a  Semitic  com- 
munity, in  which  the  burghers  had  reached  the  full 
development  of  their  powers,  were  able  to  give  to  their 
state,  which  at  the  same  time  was  supreme  over  a  wide 
region ;  but  for  the  constitution  of  the  Phenician 
cities  scarcely  any  conclusions  can  be  drawn  from 

Of  the  internal  condition  of  the  Phenician  cities,  the 
fragment  of  the  history  of  Tyre  in  Josephus  only 
enables  us  to  ascertain  that  there  was  no  lack  of  strife 
and  bloodshed  in  the  palaces  of  the  kings,  and  that 
the  priests  of  the  tutelary  deity  must  have  been  of 
importance  and  influence  beside  the  king.  But  it  fol- 
lows from  the  nature  of  things  that  these  city-kings 
could  not  have  held  sway  with  the  same  complete 
power  as  the  military  princes  of  the  great  kingdoms  of 
the  East.  The  development  of  independence  among  the 
burghers  must  have  placed  far  closer  limitations  upon 
the  will  of  the  kings  in  these  cities  than  was  the  case 
elsewhere  in  the  East.  The  more  lively  the  trade  and 
industry  of  the  cities,  the  more  strongly  must  the 
great  merchants  and  manufacturers  have  maintained 
against  the  kings  the  consideration  and  advancement 
of  their  own  interests.  For  the  maintenance  of  order 
and  peace,  of  law  and  property  in  the  cities  they 
looked  to  the  king,  but  they  had  also  to  make  import- 
ant demands  before  the  throne,  and  were  combined 
against  it  by  community  of  interests.  They  were 
compelled  to  advance  these  independently  if  the 
king  refused  his  consent.  Isaiah  tells  us  that  the 
merchants  of  Tyre  were  princes.  Ezekiel  speaks  of 
the  grey-haired  men,  the  "  elders "  of  the  city  of 

VOL.  II.  T 


Byblus.1  Of  the  later  period  we  know  with  greater 
certainty  that  there  was  a  council  beside  the  kings, 
the  membership  in  which  may  have  belonged  primarily 
to  the  chiefs  of  the  old  families,  but  also  in  part  to  the 
hereditary  priests.  Inscriptions  of  the  cities  belong- 
ing to  Grecian  times  present  the  title  "  elders."2  The 
families  in  the  Phenician  cities  which  could  carry  back 
their  genealogy  to  the  forefathers  of  the  tribes  which 
possessed  land  and  influence  before  the  fall  of  the  Hit- 
tites,  the  incursions  of  the  Hebrews,  and  the  spread  of 
trade  had  brought  a  mass  of  strangers  into  the  city  walls, 
would  appear  to  have  had  the  first  claim  to  a  share  in 
the  government ;  the  heads  of  these  families  may  at 
first  have  formed  the  council  which  stood  beside  the 
king.  Yet  it  lies  in  the  nature  of  great  manufacturing 
and  trading  cities  that  the  management  of  interests  of 
this  kind  cannot  be  confined  to  the  elders  of  the  family 
or  remain  among  the  privileges  of  birth.  Hence  we 
may  assume  that  the  great  trading  firms  and  mer- 
chants could  not  long  be  excluded  from  these  councils. 
In  the  fourth  century  B.C.  the  council  of  Sidon  seems 
to  have  consisted  of  500  or  600  elders.3  Owing  to 
the  treasures  of  East  and  West  which  poured  together 
into  the  cities  of  the  Phenicians,  life  became  luxurious 
within  their  walls.  Men's  efforts  were  directed  to  gain 
and  acquisition  ;  the  merchants  would  naturally  desire 
to  enjoy  their  wealth.  The  lower  classes  of  the  closely- 
compressed  population  no  doubt  followed  the  example 
set  them  by  the  higher.  From  the  multitude  of  retail 
dealers  and  artizans,  the  number  of  pilots  and  mariners 
who  returned  home  eager  for  enjoyment  after  long 
voyages,  men  whose  passions  would  be  unbridled,  a 

1  Ezekiel  xxvii.  9. 

2  Renan,  "  Mission  de  Ph6nicie,"  p.  199. 

3  Diod.  16,  41,  45  ;  fragm.  23,  ed.  Bipont ;  cf.  Justin,  18,  6. 


turbulent  population  must  have  grown  up,  in  spite  of 
the  numerous  colonies  into  which  the  ambitious  as 
well  as  the  poor  might  emigrate  or  be  sent  with  the 
certain  prospect  of  a  better  position.  We  saw  above 
that  the  people  of  Tyre  are  said  to  transferred 
the  rule  to  Pygmalion.  For  the  later  period  it  is  certain 
that  even  the  people  had  a  share  in  the  government.1 

The  hereditary  monarchy  passed,  so  far  as  we  can 
see,  from  the  mother-cities  to  the  oldest  colonies  only, 
i.  e.  the  cities  in  Cyprus.  In  the  other  colonies  the  chief 
officers  were  magistrates,  usually  two  in  number.2 
They  were  called  Sufetes,  i.  e.  judges.  In  Carthage 
these  two  yearly  officers,  in  whose  hands  lay  the 
supreme  administration  of  justice,  and  the  executive, 
formed  with  30  elders  the  governing  body  of  the  city. 
It  seems  that  these  30  men  were  the  representatives 
of  as  many  original  combinations  of  families  into 
which  the  old  -houses  of  the  city  were  incorporated. 
The  connection  of  the  colonies  and  mother-cities,  both 
in  general  and  more  especially  where  the  colony  could 
dispense  with  the  protection  of  the  mother-city,  were 
far  more  mercantile  and  religious  than  political.  The 
colonies  worshipped  the  deities  of  the  mother-cities, 
and  gave  them  a  share  in  their  booty.  We  also  find 
that  descendants  of  priests  who  had  emigrated  from 
the  mother-city  stood  at  the  head  of  the  temples  of 
the  colonies.  In  Carthage,  where  the  priests  of 
Melkarth  wore  the  purple  robe,  the  office  was  hered- 
itary in  the  family  of  Bithyas,  who  is  said  to  have  left 
Tyre  with  Elissa.3 

We  are  acquainted  with  the  gods  of  the  Phenician 
cities,  and  the  mode  in  which  they  worshipped  them  ; 

1  Joseph.  "Antiq."  14,  12,4,  5;  Curt.  4,  15. 

2  Liv.  28,  37;  Movers,  "PhxenLz."  2,  1,  490  ff,  529  ff. 

3  Servius,  "  ad  .ffineid."  1,  738. 

T  2 


with  El  and  Baal-Samim,  Baal-Melkarth  and  Baal- 
Moloch,  Adonis,  Astarte  and  Ashera,  with  the  rites 
of  continence  and  mutilation,  of  sensual  excess  and 
prostitution,  of  sacrifice  and  fire-festival,  which  were 
intended  to  win  their  favour  and  grace.  We  observed 
that  the  protecting  deities  of  the  separate  states  had 
even  before  the  days  of  Hiram  been  united  in  the 
system  of  the  seven  great  gods,  the  Cabiri,  at  whose 
head  was  placed  an  eighth,  Esmun,  the  supreme  deity. 
We  saw  that  in  this  system  special  meanings  were 
ascribed  to  them  in  reference  to  the  protection  of 
peace  and  law,  of  industry  and  navigation  ;  and  we 
cannot  doubt  that  with  the  riches  which  accumulated 
in  the  walls  of  the  cities,  with  the  luxury  of  life  which 
these  riches  permitted,  the  lascivious  and  sensual  side 
of  the  worship  must  have  increased  and  extended. 

The  life  led  by  the  kings  of  the  old  Phenician  cities 
is  described  as  rich  and  splendid.  We  have  already 
assumed  that  the  princes  of  the  Phenician  cities  had  a 
rich  share  in  the  returns  of  trade,  and  indeed  the  fact 
can  be  proved  from  the  Hebrew  Scriptures  for  Hiram, 
king  of  Tyre.  Ezekiel  tells  us,  "  The  king  of  Tyre  sits 
like  a  god  in  the  seat  of  God,  in  the  midst  of  the  seas  ; 
he  dwells  as  in  Eden,  in  the  garden  of  God.  Precious 
stones  are  the  covering  of  his  palaces :  the  ruby,  the 
topaz,  the  diamond,  the  chrysolite,  the  onyx,  and  the 
jasper,  the  sapphire,  the  carbuncle,  the  emerald,  and 
gold  ;  the  workmanship  of  his  ring-cases  he  bears  upon 
him."  l  "  His  garments,"  we  are  told  in  a  song  of  the 
Hebrews,  "  smell  of  myrrh,  aloes,  and  cassia  ;  in  ivory 
palaces  the  sound  of  harps  gladdens  him.  At  his  right 
hand  stands  the  queen  in  gold  of  Ophir,  in  a  garment 
of  wrought  gold :  on  broidered  carpets  she  shall  be 

1  Ezekiel  xxviii.  2—17. 


brought  to  him  ;  the  young  maidens,  her  companions, 
follow  her." ' 

Hosea  calls  Tyre  "  a  plantation  in  a  pleasant 
meadow."2  Of  the  city  itself  Ezekiel  says,  "The 
architects  have  made  her  beauty  perfect.  All  her 
planks  (wainscot)  were  of  cypress,  and  her  masts  of 
cedar  of  Lebanon ;  the  rudders  are  of  oaks  of  Bashan, 
the  benches  of  ivory,  set  in  costly  wood  from  the  island 
of  Cyprus.  For  sails  Tyre  spreads  out  byssus  and 
gay  woofs ;  blue  and  red  purple  from  the  islands  of 
Elisa  formed  their  coverlets."  3  In  the  description  of 
Strabo,  more  "than  500  years  later,  Tyre  appears  less 
magnificent.  The  houses  of  the  city  were  very  high, 
higher  than  at  Rome ;  the  city  still  wealthy,  owing  to 
the  trade  in  her  two  harbours  and  her  purple  factories, 
but  the  number  of  these  made  the  city  unpleasant. 
Strabo  does  not  mention  any  considerable  building  in 
the  city.  Of  Aradus  he  says,  "  The  smallness  of  the 
rock  on  which  the  city  lies,  seven  stades  only  in  circuit, 
and  the  number  of  inhabitants  caused  every  house  to 
have  many  stories.  Drinking-water  had  to  be  obtained 
from  the  mainland ;  on  the  island  there  were  only 
wells  and  cisterns."4 

Scarcely  any  striking  remains  of  the  ancient  build- 
ings of  Phoenicia  have  come  down  to  our  time.  The 
ancient  temples  enumerated  in  the  treatise  on  the  Syrian 
goddess  have  perished  without  a  trace ;  the  temple  of 
Melkarth  of  Tyre,  the  great  temple  of  Astarte  at 
Sidon,  the  temple  of  Bilit  (Ashera)  at  Byblus,5  al- 
though they  were  certainly  not  of  a  character  easy  to 

1  Psalm  xlv.  9 — 15.  Though  it  is  doubtful  whether  there  is  any 
reference  here  to  Tyre,  the  court-life  of  the  Israelites  was  imitated  from 
the  Phenicians. 

3  Hosea  ix.  13.  3  Ezekiel  xxvii.  4 — 7. 

4  Strabo,  pp.  754,  756. 

6  Lucian,  "  De  Syria  dea,"  3 — 5. 

278  PHCENIC1A. 

destroy.  That  the  Phenicians  were  acquainted  from 
very  ancient  periods  with  the  erection  of  strong 
masonry  was  proved  above.  Not  only  have  we  the 
legend  of  the  Greeks,  that  Cadmus  taught  them  the 
art  of  masonry  and  built  the  famous  walls  of  Thebes ; 
we  saw  how  Israel,  about  the  year  1000  B.C.,  provided 
herself  with  masons,  stone-cutters,  and  materials  from 
Tyre.  Hence  we  may  also  assume  that  the  archi- 
tecture of  the  temple  and  the  royal  palaces  of  Solomon 
described  in  the  Books  of  Kings  corresponded  to  the 
architecture  of  the  Phenicians.  The  temples  and 
palaces  of  the  Phenicians  consisted,  therefore,  of  walls 
of  large  materials,  roofed  with  beams  of  cedar ;  in 
the  interior  the  materials  were  no  doubt  covered,  as 
at  Jerusalem,  with  planks  of  wood  and  ornaments  of 
brass,  "so  that  the  stone  was  nowhere  seen"  (p.  183). 
Ezekiel  has  already  told  us  that  the  planks  of  the  roofs 
of  the  royal  palace  at  Tyre  were  overlaid  with  gold  and 
precious  stones ;  and  the  Books  of  Kings  showed  us 
that  even  the  floors  were  adorned  with  gold.  All  the 
remains  of  walls  in  Phoenicia  that  can  be  referred  to 
an  ancient  period  exhibit  a  style  of  building  confined 
to  the  stone  of  the  mountain  range  which  hems  the 
coast,  and  desirous  of  imitating  the  nature  of  the  rocks. 
Blocks  of  large  dimensions  were  used  by  preference  ;  at 
first  they  were  worked  as  little  as  possible,  and  fitted  to 
each  other,  and  the  interstices  between  the  great  blocks 
were  filled  with  smaller  stones.  Of  this  kind  are  the 
fragments  of  the  walls  which  surround  the  rock  on 
which  the  city  of  Aradus  stood.  Gigantic  blocks, 
visible  even  now  here  and  there,  formed  the  dams  of 
the  harbours  of  Aradus,  Sidon,  Tyre,  and  Japho.1  It 
was  a  step  in  advance  that  the  blocks,  while  retaining 
the  form  in  which  they  were  quarried,  were  smoothed 

1  Kenan,  "  Mission  de  Phenicir,"  p.  39  ff,  362. 


at  the  joints  in  order  to  be  fitted  together  more  firmly, 
and  a  further  step  still  that  the  blocks  were  hewn  into 
squares,  though  at  first  the  outer  surfaces  of  the 
squares  were  not  smoothed.  So  far  as  remains  allow 
us  to  see,  the  detached  structures  were  of  a  simple  and 
massive  character,  in  shape  like  cubes  of  vast  dimen- 
sions ;  the  walls,  as  is  shown  by  the  city  wall  of 
Aradus,  were  joined  without  mortar,  and  in  the  oldest 
times  the  buildings  appear  to  have  been  roofed  with 
monoliths.  Cedar  beams  were  not  sought  after  till 
larger  spaces  had  to  be  covered.  Beside  old  water- 
basins  hewn  in  the  rock,  and  oil  or  wine  presses  of 
the  same  character,  we  have  no  remains  of  ancient 
Phenician  temples  but  those  on  the  site  of  Marathus 
(now  Amrit),  a  city  of  the  tribe  of  the  Arvadites,  to 
the  south  of  Aradus,  and  in  the  neighbourhood  of 
Byblus.1  The  bases  of  the  walls  which  enclose  the 
courts  and  water-basins  of  the  temple  of  Marathus 
can  still  be  traced,  as  well  as  the  huge  stones  which 
formed  the  three  cellae,  the  innermost  shrines  of  this 
temple.  On  either  side  of  a  back  wall  formed  of  similar 
materials  heavy  blocks  protrude,  and  are  roofed  over, 
together  with  this  wall,  by  a  great  monolith,  which 
protected  the  sacred  stone  or  the  image  of  the  deity.2 
This  heavy  style  of  the  city  walls,  dams,  temples, 
and  royal  castles  did  not  prevent  the  Phenicians,  any 
more  than  the  Egyptians,  from  building  the  upper 
stories  of  the  dwelling-houses  of  their  cities  in  light 

By  far  the  most  important  remains  of  ancient 
Phoenicia  are  the  rock-tombs,  wjbich  are  found  in  great 
numbers  and  extent  opposite  to  the  islands  of  Tyre 
and  Aradus,  as  well  as  at  Sidon,  Byblus,  and  among 

1  Ceccaldi,  "  Le  Monument  de  Sarba,"  Revue  Archeolog.  1878. 
3  Renan,  "  Mission  de  Phenicie,"  p.  60  ff. 


the  ruins  of  the  other  cities  on  the  spurs  of  Lebanon  ; 
and  which  at  Tyre  especially  spread  out  into  wide 
burial-places,  and  several  stories  of  tombs,  one  upon 
the  other.  In  the  same  style  we  find  to  the  west  of 
the  ruins  of  Carthage  long  walls  of  rocks  hollowed  out 
into  thousands  of  tombs,  and  furnished  with  arched 
niches  for  the  reception  of  the  dead.1  In  the  oldest 
period  the  Phenicians  must  have  placed  their  dead  in 
natural  cavities  of  rock,  and  perhaps  they  erected  a 
stone  before  them  as  a  memorial.  In  Genesis  Abra- 
ham buries  Sarah  in  the  cave  of  Machpelah,  and  Jacob 
sets  up  a  stone  on  the  grave  of  Rachel.2  Afterwards 
the  natural  hollows  were  extended,  and  whole  cavities 
dug  out  artificially  for  tombs.  The  tomb  of  David  and 
the  tombs  of  his  successors  were  hewn  in  the  rocks  of 
the  gorge  which  separated  the  city  from  the  height 
of  Zion  (p.  177).  The  oldest  of  the  artificial  tombs  in 
Phoenicia  are  doubtless  those  which  consist  of  cubical 
chambers  with  horizontal  hewn  roofs.  Round  one 
or  two  large  chambers  lower  oblong  depressions  are 
driven  further  in  the  rocks  to  receive  the  corpses. 
The  entrance  into  these  ancient  chambers  are  formed 
by  downward  perpendicular  shafts,  at  the  bottom  of 
which  on  two  sides  are  openings  into  the  chambers 
secured  by  slabs  of  stone  laid  before  them.  Shafts  of 
this  kind  must  be  meant  when  the  Hebrews  say  in  a 
figure  of  the  dead,  "The  mouth  of  the  well  has  eaten 
him  up."  Later  than  the  tombs  of  this  description  are 
those  the  entrance  to  which  is  on  the  level  ground  (which 
was  then  closed  by  a  stone),  which  have  roofs  hewn  in 
low  arches,  and  side  niches  for  the  corpses.  The  arched 
chambers  approached  by  steps  leading  downward,  the 
walls  of  which  are  decorated  after  Grecian  patterns  on 

1  BeuM,  "  Nachgrabungen  zu  Karthago,"  s.  98  £f  (translation). 
*  Gen.  xxxv.  20. 


the  stone,  or  on  stucco,  must  originate  from  the  time 
of  the  predominance  of  Greek  art,  i.  e.  of  the  days  of 
Hellenism.  The  oldest  style  of  burial  was  the  placing 
of  the  corpse  in  the  cavity,  the  grave-chamber,  and  after- 
wards in  the  depression  at  the  side  of  this.  At  a  later 
time  apparently  the  enclosure  of  the  corpse  in  a  narrow 
coffin  of  clay  became  common  here,  as  in  Babylonia. 
Coffins  of  lead  have  also  been  found  in  the  rock-tombs 
of  Phoenicia.  But  beside  these,  heavy  oblong  stone- 
coffins  with  a  pimple  slab  of  stone  as  a  lid  were  in  use 
in  ancient  times ;  along  with  flat  lids,  lids  raised  in  a 
low  triangle  are  also  found ;  later  still,  and  latest  of 
all,  are  coffins  and  sarcophagi  adorned  with  acroteria 
and  other  ornaments  of  the  Greek  style.1 

In  the  flat  limestone  rocks  which  run  at  a  moderate 
elevation  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Sidon,  and  contain 
the  vast  necropolis  of  that  city,  there  is  a  cavern, 
now  called  Mogharet  Ablun,  i.  e.  the  cave  of  Apollo. 
Beside  the  entrance,  in  a  depression  covered  by  a 
structure  attached  to  the  rock-wall  (the  rock-tombs 
were  supplemented  and  extended  by  structures  at- 
tached to  the  wall),  was  found  a  coffin  of  blackish  blue 
stone,  the  form  of  which  indicates  the  shape  of  the 
buried  person  after  the  manner  of  the  mummy-coffins 
of  Egypt,  and  displays  in  colossal  relief  the  mask  of 
the  dead  in  Egyptian  style,  with  an  Egyptian  covering 
for  the  head  and  beard  on  the  chin ;  the  band  round 
the  neck  ends  behind  in  two  hawk's  heads.  The 
inscription  in  Phenician  letters  teaches  us  that  this 
coffin  contained  Esmunazar,  king  of  Sidou.  Similar 
sarcophagi  in  stone,  in  part  expressing  the  form  even 
more  accurately,  seven  or  eight  in  number,  have  been 
discovered  in  other  chambers  of  the  burial-place  of 
Sidon,  and  in  the  burial-places  of  Byblus  and  Anta- 

1  Kenan,  loc.  cit.  412  ff. 


radus,  but  only  in  cubical,  i.  e.  in  more  ancient  cham- 
bers. Marble  coffins  of  this  kind  have  also  been 
found  in  the  Phenician  colonies  of  Soloeis  and  Panor- 
mus  in  Sicily,  and  of  the  same  shape  in  burnt  earth  in 
Malta  and  Gozzo.  The  Phenicians,  therefore,  came  to 
imitate  the  coffins  of  the  Egyptians.  Similar  imita- 
tion of  Egyptian  burial  is  proved  by  the  gold  plates 
found  in  Phenician  chambers,  which  are  like  those 
with  which  we  find  the  mouth  closed  in  Egyptian 
mummies,  and  the  discovery  of  golden  masks  in 
Phenician  chambers,1  which  correspond  to  the  gilding 
of  the  masks  of  the  face  of  the  innermost  Egyptian 
coffins  which  immediately  surround  the  linen  covering. 
As  the  face-mask  of  the  external  coffin  imitated  the 
face  of  the  dead  in  stone  or  in  coloured  wood,  so  also 
ought  the  inner  gilded  face  to  preserve  the  features 
of  the  dead.  This  imitation  of  the  Egyptian  style  of 
burial  among  the  Phenicians  must  go  back  to  a  great 
antiquity.  It  is  true  that  Esmunazar  of  Sidon  did  not 
rule  till  the  second  half  of  the  fifth  or  the  beginning  of 
the  fourth  century  B.C.2  Yet  the  shape  and  style  of  his 
coffin  reminds  us  of  older  Egyptian  patterns ;  it  is  most 
like  the  stone  coffins  of  Egypt  which  have  come  down 
from  the  beginning  of  the  sixth  century.  And  if  the 
ancient  tombs  opened  at  Mycenae  behind  the  lion's  gate 
belong  to  Carians  influenced  by  Phenician  civilisation 
(p.  74),  if  golden  masks  are  here  found  on  the  face  of 
the  dead,  the  Phenicians  must  have  borrowed  this  cus- 
tom from  the  Egyptians  as  early  as  the  thirteenth 
century,  if  not  even  earlier. 

The  remains  which  have  come  down  to  us  of  the 
sculpture,  jars,  and  utensils  of  Phoenicia  exhibit  the 
double  influence  which  the  art  and  industry  of  the 

1  In  Cyprus  also  a  mask  of  this  kind  has  been  found. 

9  Von  Gutschmid,  in  ''Fleckeisens  Jahrbucher,"  1875,  s.  579. 


Phenicians  underwent  even  at  an  early  period.  Agree- 
ably to  the  close  relations  into  which  the  Phenicians 
entered,  on  the  one  hand  with  Babel  and  Asshur,  and  on 
the  other  with  Egypt,  the  effects  of  these  two  ancient 
civilisations  meet  each  other  on  the  coast  of  Syria. 
The  arts  of  the  kindred  land  of  the  Euphrates,  the 
relations  of  which  to  Phoenicia  were  at  the  same  time 
the  older,  naturally  made  themselves  felt  first.  When 
Tuthmosis  III.  collected  tribute  in  Syria  at  the  begin- 
ning of  the  sixteenth  century,  the  Babylonian  weight 
was  already  in  use  there  ;  the  jars  which  were  brought 
to  this  king  as  the  tribute  of  Syria  are  carefully 
worked,  but  as  yet  adorned  with  very  simple  and  recur- 
ring patterns  of  lines.  On  the  other  hand,  the  ornaments 
found  in  the  tombs  of  My  cense,  gold-plates,  frontlets, 
and  armlets,  exhibit  ornaments  like  those  figured  on 
the  monuments  of  Assyria ;  and  the  objects  found  in 
the  rock -tombs  on  Hymettus,  at  Spata,  point  even 
more  definitely  to  Babylonian  patterns  :  winged  fabu- 
lous animals  and  battles  of  beasts  (a  lion  attacking  a 
bull  or  an  antelope a)  are  formed  in  the  manner  of  the 
Eastern  Semites,  which  brings  the  form  of  the  muscles 
into  prominence.  We  may  assume  that  the  influence 
of  Egypt  began  with  the  times  of  the  Tuthmosis  and 
Amenophis,  and  their  supremacy  in  Syria,  and  slowly 
gathered  strength.  The  heavy  style  of  Phenician  build- 
ings would  not  be  made  lighter  or  more  free  by  the  archi- 
tecture of  Egypt,  which  also  arose  out  of  building  in 
rock.  The  temples  of  Phoenicia  adopted  Egyptian  sym- 
bols for  their  ornaments  ;  the  monoliths  of  the  roofs  of 
those  three  cellae  at  Marathus  exhibit  the  winged  sun's- 
disk,  the  emblem  at  the  entrance  of  Egyptian  temples  ; 
the  chests  for  the  dead  and  masks  for  the  mummies 
of  the  Egyptians  were  imitated  in  the  rock-tombs  of 

1  AOHNAION  tr'  y'  wivaS;   A.  7,  B  8. 


Phoenicia.  If  the  weaving  of  the  Phenicians  at  first 
copied  the  ancient  Babylonian  patterns,  they  began 
under  the  stronger  influence  of  Egypt  to  adorn  their 
pottery  and  metal-work  after  Egyptian  patterns.  But 
they  also  combined  the  Babylonian  and  Egyptian 
elements  in  their  art.1  The  oldest  memorial  of  this 
combination  is  perhaps  retained  in  that  winged  sphinx, 
which  belongs  to  the  time  of  the  dominion  of  the  shep- 
herds in  Egypt.  In  the  graves  on  Hymettus  pictures 
in  relief  of  female  winged  sphinxes  are  found  with 
clothed  breasts  and  peculiar  wings,  in  a  treatment  ob- 
viously already  conventional.  In  Phoenicia  itself  are 
found  reliefs  of  similar  sphinxes,  old  men  with  a  human 
face  on  either  side  of  the  tree  of  life,  which  meet  us 
oftentimes  in  the  monuments  of  Assyria.  This  combina- 
tion, this  use  of  Babylonian  and  Egyptian  types  and 
forms  side  by  side,  is  seen  most  clearly  on  a  large 
bowl  found  at  Curium  near  Amathus,  in  Cyprus,  and 
wrought  with  great  care  and  skill.2  It  follows  that 
the  art  of  the  Phenicians  was  essentially  imitative  and 
intended  to  furnish  objects  for  trade.  Of  round  works 
of  sculpture  we  have  only  dwarfish  deities  (I.  378),  the 
typical  form  of  which  was  naturally  retained,  and  a 
few  lions  coarsely  wrought  in  the  style  of  the  plastic 
art  of  Babylon  and  Assyria.3  The  relation  in  which 
the  lion  stood  to  the  god  Melkarth  naturally  made  the 
delineation  of  the  lion  a  favourite  object  of  Phenician 

Phoenicia,  though  the  home  of  alphabetical  writing, 
has  left  us  no  more  than  two  or  three  inscriptions,  and 
Carthage  has  not  left  us  a  great  number.  Not  that  there 
was  any  lack  of  inscriptions  in  Phoenicia  in  ancient 

1  Helbig,  "  Cenni  sopra  1'arte  fenicia,"  p.  17  ff. 

2  Ceccaldi,  "Les  fouilles  de  Curium,"  Eevue  Archeolog.  1877. 

3  Renan,  loc.  at.  pp.  175,  181,  397. 


days.     We  have  heard  already  of  ancient  inscriptions 
at  Rhodes,  Thebes,  and  G-ades.     Job  wishes  that  "  his 
words  might  be  graven  on  rocks  for  ever  with  an  iron 
chisel  and  lead."  l     The  inscriptions  of  Phoenicia  have 
perished   because   they  were  engraved  like  those  in- 
scriptions of  Gades,  on  plates  of  brass.     Beside  the 
inscription  on  the  coffin  of  Esmunazar,  king  of  Sid  on, 
already  mentioned,  of  a  date  about  400  B.C.,  only  two 
or   three    smaller    inscriptions   have   been   preserved, 
which  do  not  go  beyond  the  second  century  B.C.     In 
this  inscription  Esmunazar  speaks  in  person ;  he  calls 
himself  the  son  of  Tabnit,    king   of  the   Sidonians, 
son  of  Esmunazar,  king  of  the  Sidonians.     With  his 
mother,  Amastarte,  the  priestess  of  Astarte,  he  had 
erected  temples  to  Baal,  Astarte,   and  Esmun.     He 
beseeches  the  favour  of  the  gods  for  himself  and  his 
land ;    he   prays   that   Dor   and  Japho   may  always 
remain  under  Sidon ;    he  declares  that  he  wishes  to 
rest  in  the  grave  which  he  has  built  and  in  this  coffin. 
No  one  is  to  open  the  tomb  or  plunder  it,  or  remove 
or  damage  this  stone  coffin.      If  any  man  attempts  it 
the  gods  will  destroy  him  with  his  seed ;  he  is  not  to 
be  buried,  and  after  death  will  find  no  rest  among  the 

There  is  scarcely  any  side  of  civilisation,  any  forms  of 
technical  art,  the  invention  of  which  was  not  ascribed 
by  the  Greeks  to  the  Phenicians.  They  were  nearly 
all  made  known  to  the  Greeks  through  the  Phenicians; 
more  especially  the  building  of  walls  and  fortresses, 
mining,  the  alphabet,  astronomy,  numbers,  mathe- 
matics, navigation,  together  with  a  great  variety  of 
applications  of  technical  skill.  If  the  discovery  of 

1  Job  xix.  23. 

2  Kodiger,  "Z.  D.  M.  Q-."  9,  647;  Schlottmann,  "Inschrift  Esmun- 
azars;  "  Halevy,  "Melanges,"  pp.  9,  34;  Oppert,  "  Kecords  of  the  Past," 
9,  109. 


alphabetic  writing  belongs  to  the  Phenicians,  the 
Babylonians  were  the  instructors  of  the  Phenicians 
in  astronomy  as  well  as  in  fixing  measures  and 
weights  (I.  305).  Yet  this  is  no  reason  for  contest- 
ing the  statement  of  Strabo  that  the  Sidonians  were 
"  eager  inquirers  into  the  knowledge  of  the  stars  and 
of  numbers,  to  which  they  were  led  by  navigation 
by  night  and  the  art  of  calculation." l  In  the  same 
way  the  technical  discoveries  ascribed  by  the  Greeks 
to  the  Phenicians  were  not  all  made  in  their  cities ; 
they  carried  on  with  vigour  and  skill  what  grew  up 
independently  among  them  as  well  as  what  they  learnt 
from  others.  The  making  of  glass  was  undoubtedly 
older  in  Egypt  than  in  Phoenicia  (I.  224).  Egypt  also 
practised  work  in  metals  before  Phoenicia.  Snefru 
and  Chufu  made  themselves  masters  of  the  copper 
mines  of  the  peninsula  of  Sinai  before  the  year  3000 
B.C.  (I.  95),  while  the  Phenicians  can  hardly  have 
occupied  the  copper  island  off  their  coast  (Cyprus) 
before  the  middle  of  the  thirteenth  century  B.C.  Ar- 
tistic weaving  and  embroidery  were  certainly  practised 
at  a  more  ancient  date  in  Babylonia  than  in  the 
cities  of  the  Phenicians.  But  all  these  branches  of  in- 
dustry were  carried  on  with  success  by  the  Phenicians. 
Sidon  furnished  excellent  works  in  glass,  which  were 
accounted  the  best  even  down  to  a  late  period  of 
antiquity.  The  dunes  on  the  coast  between  Acco 
and  Tyre,  where  is  the  mouth  of  the  glass-river  (Sihor 
Libnath),2  provided  the  Phenician  manufacturers  with 
the  earth  necessary  for  the  manufacture  of  glass.  It 
was  maintained  that  the  most  beautiful  glass  was 

1  Strabo,  p.  757. 

2  Joshua  xix.  26.     Strabo,  p.  758.   Tacitus  says,  "  On  the  shore  of 
Judsea  the  Belus  falls  into  the  sea :  the  sand  collected  at  the  mouth  of 
this  river,   when  mixed  with  saltpetre,  is  melted  into  glass.     The 
strip  of  shore  is  of  moderate  extent,  but  inexhaustible ; "  "  Hist.  5,  7 


cast  in  Sarepta  (Zarpath,  i.  e.  melting),  a  city  on  the 
coast  between  Sidon  and  Tyre.1 

The  purple  dyeing,  i.  e.  the  colouring  of  woofs  by  the 
liquor  from  fish,  was  discovered  by  the  Phenicians. 
They  were  unsurpassed  in  this  art ;  it  outlived  by 
many  centuries  the  power  and  splendour  of  their  cities. 
Trumpet  and  purple  fish  were  found  in  great  numbers 
on  their  coasts,  and  the  liquor  from  these  provided 
excellent  dye.  The  liquor  of  the  purple-fish,  which 
comes  from  a  vessel  in  the  throat,  is  dark-red  in  the 
small  fish,  and  black  in  the  larger  fish ;  the  liquor  of 
the  trumpet-fish  is  scarlet.  The  fish  were  pounded 
and  the  dye  extracted  by  decoction.  By  mixing, 
weakening,  or  thickening  this  material,  and  by  adding 
this  or  that  ingredient,  various  colours  were  obtained, 
through  all  the  shades  of  crimson  and  violet  down  to 
the  darkest  black,  in  which  fine  woollen  stuffs  and 
linen  from  Egypt  were  dipped.  The  stuffs  soaked  in 
these  colours  are  the  purple  cloths  of  antiquity,  and 
were  distinguished  by  the  bright  sheen  of  the  colours. 
The  Tyrian  double-dyed  cloth,  which  had  the  colour 
of  curdled  blood,  and  the  violet  amethyst  purple  were 
considered  the  most  beautiful.2  Three  hundred  pounds 
of  the  raw  material  were  usually  required  to  dye  50 
pounds  of  wool.3  When  the  purple  stuff's  began  to  be 
sought  after,  the  fish  collected  on  the  coasts  of  Tyre, 
Sidon,  and  Sarepta  were  no  longer  sufficient.  We 
saw  how  the  ships  of  the  Phenicians  went  from  coast 
to  coast  in  order  to  get  fresh  materials  for  the  dye, 
and  found  them  in  great  numbers  on  the  shores  of 
Cyprus,  Rhodes,  Crete,  Cythera,  and  Thera ;  in  the 
bays  of  Laconia  and  Argos,  and  in  the  straits  of 

1  Pliny,  «  Hist.  Nat."  5,  17. 

2  Adolph  Schmidt,  "  Forschungen  auf  dem  Gebiete  des  Alterthums," 
s.  69.  3  Schmidt,  foe.  cit.  129  ff. 


Eubcea.  Purple-fish  were  also  collected  on  the  greater 
Syrtis,  in  Sicily,  the  Balearic  Isles,  and  coasts  of 
Tarshish.1  Even  at  a  later  period,  when  the  art  of 
dyeing  with  the  purple-fish  was  understood  and 
practised  at  many  places  in  the  Mediterranean  Sea,  the 
Tyrian  purple  still  maintained  its  pre-eminence  and 
fame.  "Tyre,"  says  Strabo,  "overcame  her  misfor- 
tunes, and  always  recovered  herself  by  means  of  her 
navigation,  in  which  the  Phenicians  were  superior  to  all 
others,  and  her  purples.  The  Tyrian  purple  is  the  most 
beautiful ;  the  fish  are  caught  close  at  hand,  and 
every  other  requirement  for  the  dyeing  is  there  in 
abundance." 2  A  hundred  years  later  Pliny  adds  "  that 
the  ancient  glory  of  Tyre  survived  now  only  in  her 
fish  and  her  purples."3  The  consumption  and  expense 
of  purple  in  antiquity  was  very  great,  especially  in 
Hither  Asia.  At  first  the  Phenician  kings  wore  the 
purple  robe  as  the  sign  of  their  rank  ;  then  it  became 
the  adornment  of  the  princes  of  the  East,  the  priests, 
the  women  of  high  rank,  and  upper  classes.  In  the 
temples  and  palaces  the  purple  served  for  curtains  and 
cloths,  robes  and  veils  for  the  images  and  shrines. 
The  kings  of  Babylon  and  Assyria,  and  after  them  the 
kings  of  Persia,  collected  stores  of  purple  stuffs  in  their 
palaces.  Plutarch  puts  the  value  of  the  amount  of 
purple  found  by  Alexander  at  Susa  at  5000  talents.4 
In  the  West  also  the  purple  robe  soon  became  the 
distinguishing  garb  of  royalty  and  rank.  Yet  the 
Greeks  and  Romans  of  the  better  times,  owing  to  the 
costliness  of  the  material,  contented  themselves  with 
the  possession  of  borders  or  stripes  of  purple. 

The   weaving  and  embroidery  of    the   Phenicians 

1  Herod.  4,  151;  Pliny,  "Hist.  Nat."  9,  60;  Strabo,  pp.  145,  835. 
«  Strabo,  p.  757.  3  Pliny,  "Hist.  Nat."  5,  17. 

•  Plut.  "  Alex."  c.  36. 


apparently  followed  Assyrian  and  Babylonian  patterns. 
They  must  also  have  made  and  exported  ceramic  ware 
and  earthen  vessels  in  large  numbers  at  an  ancient 
period,  as  is  proved  by  the  tributes  brought  to  Tuth- 
mosis  III.,  the  discoveries  in  Cyprus,  Khodes,  Thera, 
and  at  Hissarlik.  In  the  preparation  of  perfumes  Sidon 
and  Tyre  were  not  equal  to  the  Babylonians.  It  is 
true  that  their  manufacturers  supplied  susinum  and 
cyprimim  of  excellent  quality,  but  they  could  not 
attain  to  the  cinnamon  or  the  nard  ointment,  nor  to 
the  royal  ointment  of  the  Babylonians.1 

In  mining  the  Phenicians  were  masters.  In  regard 
to  the  Phenician  skill  in  this  art,  the  Book  of  Job  says, 
"  The  earth,  from  which  comes  nourishment,  is  turned 
up  ;  he  lays  his  hand  upon  the  flint ;  far  from  the  deal- 
ings of  men  he  makes  his  descending  shaft.  No  bird  of 
prey  knows  the  path ;  the  eye  of  the  vulture  discovers 
it  not ;  the  wild  beasts  do  not  tread  it.  Through  the 
rocks  paths  are  made  ;  he  searches  out  the  darkness  and 
the  night.  Then  his  eye  beholds  all  precious  things. 
The  stone  of  the  rocks  is  the  place  of  the  sapphire 
and  gold-dust.  Iron  is  taken  out  of  the  mountains  ; 
stones  are  melted  into  brass,  the  drop  of  water  is 
stopped,  and  the  hidden  is  brought  to  light."2  The 
Phenicians  dug  mines  for  copper,  first  on  Lebanon  and 
then  in  Cyprus.  We  saw  that  they  afterwards,  in  the 
second  half  of  the  thirteenth  century,  opened  out  the 
gold  treasures  of  Thasos  in  the  Thracian  Sea.  Hero- 
dotus, who  had  seen  their  abandoned  mines  there  (they 
lay  on  the  south  coast  of  Thasos),  informed  us  that  the 
Phenicians  had  entirely  "  turned  over  a  whole  moun- 
tain." Yet  even  in  the  fifth  century  B.C.  the  mines  of 

1  Movers,  "Phceniz."  3,  103. 

2  Job  xxviii.  1—11.   In  this  description  the  author  could  only  have 
Phenician  mines  in  his  eye. 

VOL.    II.  U 


Thasos  produced  a  yearly  income  of  from  two  to  three 
hundred  talents.  In  Spain  the  Phenicians  opened 
their  mines  in  the  silver  mountain,  i.  e.  in  the  Sierra 
Morena,  above  the  lower  course  of  the  Baetis  (the 
Guadalquivir)  ;l  their  ships  went  up  the  stream  as 
far  as  Sephela  (perhaps  Hispalis,  Seville).  The  richest 
silver-mines  lay  above  Sephela  at  Ilipa  (Niebla) ;  the 
best  gold  and  copper  mines  were  at  Cotini,  in  the 
region  of  Gades.2  Diodorus  assures  us  that  all  the 
mines  in  Iberia  had  been  opened  by  Phenicians  and 
Carthaginians,  and  not  one  by  the  Romans.  In  the 
more  ancient  times  the  workmen  here  brought  up  in 
three  days  an  Euboic  talent  of  silver,  and  their  wages 
were  fixed  at  a  fourth  part  of  the  returns.  The  mines 
in  Iberia  were  carried  down  many  stades  in  depth  and 
length,  with  pits,  shafts,  and  sloping  paths  crossing 
each  other ;  for  the  veins  of  gold  and  silver  were  more 
productive  at  a  greater  depth.  The  water  in  the  mines 
was  taken  out  by  Egyptian  spiral  pumps.  Strabo 
observes  that  the  gold  ore  when  brought  up  was 
melted  over  a  slow  fire,  and  purified  by  vitriolated 
earth.  The  smelting-ovens  for  the  silver  were  built 
high,  in  order  that  the  vapour  from  the  ore,  which  was 
injurious  and  even  deadly,  might  pass  into  the  air.3 

The  Phenicians  also  understood  how  to  work  skil- 
fully the  metals  supplied  by  their  mines.  At  the 
founding  of  Gades,  which  we  had  to  place  about  the 
year  1100  B.C.,  iron  pillars  with  inscriptions  are  men- 
tioned which  the  settlers  put  up  in  the  temple  of 
Melkarth  (p.  82).  The  brass  work  which  the  melter, 
Hiram  of  Tyre,  executed  for  Solomon  (p.  182)  is  evidence 

1  Miillenhoff,  "  Deutsche  Altertumskunde,"  1,  120  ff. 

2  Strabo,  p.  142.    Kotini  =  the  Oleastrum  of  the   Eomans ;  Pliny, 
"Hist.  Nat."  3,  3.     Ptolem.  2,  4,  14. 

3  Strabo,  pp.  175,  176,  120;  Pliny,  "Hist.  Nat."  7,  57. 


of  long  practice  in  melting  brass,  and  of  skill  in 
bringing  into  shape  large  masses  of  melted  metal. 
The  Homeric  poems  speak  of  Sidon  as  "  rich  in  brass," 
and  "  skilful ; "  they  tell  us  of  large  beaten  bowls  of 
brass  and  silver  of  Sidonian  workmanship,  "rich  in 
invention."  Even  at  a  later  period  the  goblets  of 
Sidon  were  in  request.  Not  only  metal  implements 
and  vessels  of  brass  and  copper,  molten  and  beaten, 
were  furnished  by  the  Phenicians ;  they  must  also 
have  manufactured  armour  in  large  quantities,  if  we 
may  draw  any  conclusion  about  armour  from  the  tribute 
imposed  on  the  Syrians  by  Tuthmosis  III.  It  is  easily 
intelligible  of  what  value  it  must  have  been  for  the 
nations  of  the  West  to  come  into  the  possession  of 
splendid  armour  and  good  weapons.  Besides  these  are 
the  ornaments  found  in  great  numbers,  and  of  high 
antiquity,  in  the  tombs  of  Spata  and  Mycenae,  and 
in  the  excavations  at  Hissarlik.  In  Homer,  Phenician 
ships  bring  necklaces  of  gold  and  amber  to  the  Greeks. 
At  a  later  time  the  ornaments  of  the  Phenicians  and 
their  alabaster  boxes  were  sought  after ;  the  carved 
work  in  ivory  and  wood,  with  which  they  also  adorned 
the  prows  and  banks  of  oars  of  their  ships,  is  praised 
by  Ezekiel.  They  also  knew  how  to  set  and  cut  precious 
stones ;  some  seals  have  come  down  to  us  in  part  from 
an  ancient  date.1 

In  ship-building  the  Phenicians  were  confessedly 
superior ;  they  are  said  to  have  discovered  navigation.2 
The  ancient  forests  of  cedar  and  cypress  which  rose 
immediately  above  their  shores  supplied  the  best 

1  Ezekiel  xxvii.  5,  6  ;    Levy,  "  Siegel  und  Gemmen."     If  the  first 
text  of  the  Pentateuch  represents  the  names  of  the  tribes  of  the 
people  as  engraved  upon  the  precious  stones  in  the  shield  on  the  breast 
of  the  high  priest  (Exod.  xxv.  7 ;  xxviii.  9  ff,  supra,  207),  the  author 
had,  no  doubt,  the  work  of  Phenician  artists  in  his  eye. 

2  Pliny,  "  Hist.  Nat."  5,  13. 



wood,  which  resisted  decay  for  an  extraordinary 
length  of  time  even  in  salt  water.  Much  as  the 
Phenicians  used  these  forests  in  the  course  of  a  thou- 
sand years  for  building  their  ships,  their  palaces,  and 
temples,  as  well  as  for  exportation,  they  provided  even 
in  the  third  century  B.C.  a  material  which  for  extent, 
size,  and  beauty  won  the  admiration  of  the  Greeks.1 
The  oldest  ship  of  the  Phenicians  which  continued 
through  all  time  in  use  as  a  trading- vessel  was  the 
gaulos,  a  vessel  with  high  prow  and  stern,  both  of 
which  were  similarly  rounded.  It  was  propelled  by 
a  large  sail  and  by  rowers,  from  20 "to  30  in  number. 
Besides  the  gaulos,  there  was  the  long  and  narrow  fifty- 
oar,  which  served  for  a  merchantman  and  pirate-ship 
as  well  as  for  a  ship  of  war,  and  after  the  discovery  of 
the  silver  land  the  large  and  armed  merchantman,  the 
ship  of  Tarshish.  Isaiah  enumerates  the  ship  of 
Tarshish  among  the  costly  structures  of  men.2  Ezekiel 
compares  Tyre  to  a  proud  ship  of  the  sea.  We  know 
that  the  great  transport-ships  and  merchantmen  of  the 
Phenicians  and  Carthaginians  could  take  about  500 
men  on  board.  The  Byblians  were  considered  the  best 
ship-builders.  The  keels  of  the  ships,  like  the  masts, 
were  made  of  cedar  ;  the  oars  were  of  oak,  supplied  by 
the  oak  forests  of  the  table-land  of  Bashan.  The 
mariners  of  Sidon  and  Aradus  were  considered  the 
best  rowers.  The  Greeks  praise  the  strict  and  careful 
order  on  board  a  Phenician  ship,  the  happy  use  of 
the  smallest  spaces,  the  accuracy  in  distributing  and 
placing  the  lading,  the  experience,  wisdom,  activity, 
and  safety  of  the  Phenician  pilots  and  officers.3  Others 
commend  the  great  sail  and  oar  power  of  the  Phenician 
ships.  They  could  sail  even  against  the  wind,  and 
make  fortunate  voyages  in  the  stormy  season  of  the 

1  Diodor.  19,  58.          3  Isaiah  ii.  16.          3  Xen.  "CEcon."  8,  12. 


year.  While  the  Greeks  steered  by  the  Great  Bear, 
which,  if  a  more  visible,  was  a  far  more  uncertain 
guide,  the  Phenicians  had  at  an  early  time  discovered 
a  less  conspicuous  but  more  trustworthy  guide  in  the 
polar  star,  which  the  Greeks  call  the  "  Phenician  star." 
The  Greeks  themselves  allow  that  this  circumstance 
rendered  the  voyages  of  the  Phenicians  more  accurate 
and  secure.  On  an  average  the  Phenician  ships, 
which  as  a  rule  did  not  set  out  before  the  end  of 
February,  and  returned  at  the  end  of  October,  accom- 
plished 120  miles  in  24  hours ;  but  ships  that  were 
excellently  built  and  equipped,  and  sufficiently  manned, 
ran  about  150  miles.1  In  the  fifteenth  century  the 
galleys  of  Venice  could  run  from  50  to  100  miles  in 
the  Mediterranean  in  the  24  hours.  The  excellence  of 
the  Phenician  navy  survived  the  independence  of  the 
cities.  Inclination  towards,  and  pleasure  in  navigation, 
as  well  as  skill  in  it,  were  always  to  be  found  among 
the  populations  of  those  cities.  The  Phenician  ships 
were  by  far  the  best  in  the  fleets  of  the  Persian  kings. 

1  Movers,  "Phceniz."  3,  182  ff,  191  ff. 



WE  found  above  at  what  an  early  period  the  migratory 
tribes  of  Arabia  came  into  intercourse  with  the  region 
of  the   Euphrates,  and  the  valley  of  the  Nile,  how 
in  both  these  places  they. purchased  corn,  implements, 
and  weapons  in   return  for  their  horses  and  camels, 
their  skins  and  their  wool,  and  the  prisoners  taken  in 
their  feuds.    It  was  this  exchange  trade  of  the  Arabian 
tribes  which   in  the  first  instance  brought  about  the 
intercourse  of  Syria  with  Babylonia  and  Egypt.  Egypt 
like  Babylonia  required  oil  and  wine  for  their  popula- 
tion ;  metals,  skins,  and  wool  for  their  manufactures ; 
wrood  for  the  building  of  houses  and  ships.     For  the 
Syrians  and  cities  of  the  Phenicians  the  intercourse 
with  the  Arabians,  and  the  lands  of  the  Euphrates  and 
Tigris,  was  facilitated  by  the  fact  that  nations  related  to 
them  in  race  and  language  dwelt  as  far  as  the  border- 
mountains   of  Armenia   and  Iran   and  the  southern 
coast   of  Arabia,    and   their   trade   with   Egypt   was 
facilitated  in  the  same  manner  when    Semitic  tribes 
between  2000  and  1500  B.C.  obtained  the  supremacy  in 
Egypt  and  maintained  it  for  more  than  three  centuries. 
From  the  fact  that  Babylonian  weights  and  measures 
were  in  use  in  Syria  in  the  sixteenth  century  B.C.,  we 
may  conclude  that  there  must  have  been  close  trade 
relations  between  Syria  and  Babylonia  from  the  year 
2000  B.C.  ;  and  in  the  same  manner  in  consequence  of 


the  conquest  of  Egypt  by  the  shepherds  more  active 
relations  must  have  commenced  between  Syria  and 
the  land  of  the  Nile,  at  a  period  not  much  later.  The 
supremacy  which  Egypt  afterwards  obtained  over 
Syria  under  the  Tuthmosis  and  Amenophis  must  have 
rather  advanced  than  destroyed  this ;  thus  Sethos, 
towards  the  year  1400,  used  his  successes  against  the 
Cheta,  i.  e.  the  Hittites,  to  have  cedars  felled  on  Lebanon. 
We  may  assume  that  even  before  this  time,  after  the 
rise  of  the  kingdom  of  the  Hittites,  i.  e.  after  the  middle 
of  the  fifteenth  century,  the  cities  of  the  Phenicians 
were  no  longer  content  to  exchange  the  products  of 
Syria,  wine,  oil,  and  brass,  the  manufactures  of  their 
own  growing  industry,  purple  stuffs  and  weapons, 
with  the  manufactures  of  Egypt,  linen  cloths,  and 
papyrus  tissues,  glass  and  engraved  stones,  ornaments 
and  drugs,  on  the  one  hand,  and  on  the  other  hand 
with  the  manufactures  of  Babylon,  cloths,  ointments, 
and  embroidered  stuffs :  they  also  carried  Egyptian 
fabrics  to  Babylon,  and  Babylonian  fabrics  to  Egypt. 
The  trade  of  Phoenicia  with  Egypt  and  Babylonia 
was  no  longer  restricted  to  the  exchange  of  Phenician- 
Syrian  products  and  fabrics  with  those  of  Egypt 
and  Babylon :  it  was  at  the  same  time  a  middle 
trade  between  those  two  most  ancient  seats  of  cultiva- 
tion, between  Egypt  and  Babylonia.  It  cannot  have 
been  any  detriment  to  this  trade  of  the  Phenicians 
that  a  second  centre  of  civic  life  sprang  up  subse- 
quently on  the  central  Tigris  in  the  growing  power  of 
Assyria.  In  the  ruins  of  Chalah  (p.  34)  Egyptian 
works  of  art  have  been  dug  up  in  no  inconsiderable 
numbers.  Herodotus  begins  his  work  with  the  ob- 
servation that  the  Phenicians  at  an  early  period 
endeavoured  to  export  and  exchange  Egyptian  and 
Assyrian  (i.  e.  Babylonian  and  Assyrian)  wares. 


The  sea  lay  open  to  the  cities  of  the  Phenicians  for 
their  intercourse  with  Egypt ;  for  this  route  they  were 
independent  of  the  good  will  or  aversion  of  the  tribes  and 
princes,  who  ruled  in  the  south  of  Canaan ;  moreover 
the  wood  of  Lebanon  could  not  be  carried  by  land  to 
Egypt.  We  may  certainly  assume  that  the  navigation 
of  the  Phenicians  was  enabled  to  obtain  its  earliest 
practice  for  further  journeys  by  these  voyages  to  that 
mouth  of  the  Nile,  which  the  Egyptians  opened  to 
foreign  ships  (I.  227).  The  free  and  secure  use  of  the 
routes  of  the  caravans  to  the  Euphrates,  and  from  this 
river  to  the  Syrian  coast,  must  have  been  obtained 
from  the  rulers  of  Syria,  the  princes  of  Hamath  and 
Damascus,  the  migratory  tribes  of  the  Syrian  desert, 
the  princes  whose  dominions  lay  on  the  Euphrates ; 
and  would  hardly  be  obtained  without  heavy  pay- 
ments. So  much  the  more  desirable  was  it,  if  the 
cities  could  enter  into  special  relations  with  one  or 
other  of  these  princes,  such  as  David  and  Solomon, 
who  not  only  opened  Israel  to  them,  but  also  provided 
the  routes  with  caravanserais  and  warehouses  (p.  187). 
The  trade-road  to  the  Euphrates  led  from  Sidon  past 
Dan  (Laish)  in  Israel  to  Damascus,  hence  northwards 
past  Biblah  and  Emesa  (Hems)  to  Hamath,  from 
Hamath  to  Bambyke  (Hierapolis)  in  the  neighbourhood 
of  the  Euphrates,  and  then  crossed  over  the  river  to 
Harran  (I.  320).  From  Harran  the  caravans  went 
down  along  the  Belik  to  the  Euphrates,  then  in  the 
valley  of  the  Euphrates  to  Babylon,  or  went  eastwards 
past  Nisibis  (Nisib)  to  the  Tigris.  A  shorter  road  to  the 
Euphrates  ran  past  Damascus  and  the  oasis  of  Tadmor, 
and  reached  the  river  at  Thipsach  (Thapsacus)  at  the 
farthest  bend  to  the  west.1 

We  have  already  seen  at  what  an  early  period  the 

1  Supra,  p.  187.     Movers,  "  Phoeniz."  2,  3,  244  ff. 


trade  with  the  land  of  frankincense,  i.  e.  with  South 
Arabia,  grew  up  for  Egypt,  owing  to  the  mutual 
intercourse  of  the  Arabian  tribes  (I.  226).  The  first 
attempt  of  Egypt  to  open  a  communication  by  sea 
with  South  Arabia  falls  about  the  year  2300  B.C.  At  a 
period  not  later,  other  Arabian  tribes  must  have 
carried  the  incense  and  spices  of  South  Arabia  to 
Elam,  Ur  and  Nipur,  and  Babylon.  Syria  must  have 
received  the  products  of  South  Arabia  first  through 
Babylon,  then  by  means  of  direct  communication  with 
the  Arabs,  and  lastly  by  the  special  caravans  of  the 
Phenicians.  We  hear  of  two  trade-roads  to  that  land. 
One  led  past  Damascus  to  the  oasis  of  Duma  (Dumat 
el  Dshandal),  and  from  thence  through  the  interior  of 
Arabia  to  the  south  ;  the  other  ran  through  Israel  past 
Ashtaroth  Karnaim,  through  the  territories  of  the  Am- 
monites, Moabites,  and  Edomites,  to  Elath,  and  thence 
led  along  the  coast  of  the  Arabian  Gulf  to  the  Sabaeans 
(I.  320).  From  the  Sabseans  and  the  Chatramites  even 
before  the  year  1500  B.C.  the  caravans  brought  not 
spices  only  and  incense,  but  also  the  products  of  the 
Somali  coast.  The  Sabseans  traversed  the  Arabian 
Gulf  and  carried  home  the  products  of  the  coast  of 
East  Africa;  the  southwest  coast  of  Arabia  was  no 
longer  a  place  for  producing  and  exporting  frankin- 
cense and  spices ;  it  became  the  trading-place  of  the 
Somali  coast,  and  before  the  year  1000  B.C.  was  also 
the  trading-place  for  the  products  of  India,  which 
ships  of  the  Indians  carried  to  the  shore  of  the 
Sabeeans  and  Chatramites  (I.  322).  It  must  have 
been  a  considerable  increase  in  the  extent  of  the 
Phenician  trade  and  the  gains  obtained  from  it, 
when  the  Phenicians  were  able  to  make  such  a  fruitful 
use  of  their  connection  with  South  Arabia  that  it  fell 
into  their  hands  to  provide  Egypt,  with  her  products, 


and  perhaps  even  Babylonia  also.  Their  caravan  trade 
with  South  Arabia  must  have  been  lively,  and  the 
impulse  to  extend  it  strong,  as  they  induced  king 
Solomon  to  allow  them  to  attempt  a  connection  by  sea 
from  Elath  with  South  Arabia.  By  the  foundation 
and  success  of  the  trade  to  Ophir,  and  the  most  remote 
places  of  the  East  which  they  reached,  their  commerce 
obtained  its  widest  extent,  and  brought  in  the  richest 
returns.  With  incense  and  balsam,  there  came  to  Tyre 
cinnamon  and  cassia,  sandal-wood  and  ivory,  gold  and 
pearls  from  India,  and  the  silk  tissues  of  the  distant 

The  commerce  of  the  Phenician  cities  comprised 
Egypt,  Babylonia,  and  Assyria,  it  touched  Mesopotamia 
and  Armenia,  the  lands  of  the  Moschi  and  Tibarenes, 
the  silver  and  copper  mines  of  the  Chalybes  on  the 
Black  Sea.2  When  on  the  opening  of  the  communica- 
tion by  the  Red  Sea  with  South  Arabia  and  the  coun- 
tries beyond,  it  gained  the  widest  extent  to  the  south 
and  east,  it  had  for  a  whole  century  past  traversed  the 
entire  length  of  the  Mediterranean  to  the  Straits  of 
Gibraltar.  We  saw  above  how  the  Phenicians  steered 
to  Cyprus,  Rhodes,  Crete,  to  the  ^gean  Sea,  to  the 
coasts  of  Hellas,  in  order  to  barter  or  dig  up  minerals, 
to  collect  purple-fish  for  their  coloured  stuffs,  and  how 
after  the  middle  of  the  thirteenth  centuiy  they  began 
to  plant  settlements  on  these  coasts.  The  request  for 
minerals  must  have  been  so  strongly  felt  in  their  own 
cities,  in  Egypt  and  the  lands  of  the  Euphrates,  in  the 
course  of  the  twelfth  century,  that  the  ships  of  the 
Phenicians  went  farther  and  farther  to  the  west  in 
search  of  them,  that  Sicily,  Sardinia,  and  Corsica  were 
reached  and  then  colonised  by  them.  At  the  same 

1  Movers,  loc.  dt.  2,  3,  265  ff. 

9  Vol.  i.  p.  538.     Ezekiel  xxvii.  14  ;  xxxviii.  6. 


time  Ityke  and  Old  Hippo  were  built  on  the  coast 
of  Africa.  These  supplied  saltpetre,  alum,  and  salt, 
skins  of  lions  and  panthers,  horns  of  buffalos,  ostrich 
eggs  and  feathers,  slaves  and  ivory  to  the  mother- 
cities.  After  this,  about  the  year  1100  B.C.,  Grades 
was  built  on  the  shore  of  the  Atlantic  Ocean.  The 
trade  of  the  Phenicians  now  brought  not  only  the 
products  of  Syria  and  the  manufactures  of  their  cities 
to  Egypt  and  Babylonia  ;  it  was  not  merely  a  middle 
trade  between  those  two  lands,  nor  merely  an  independ- 
ent trade  and  middle  trade  between  South  Arabia  and 
the  civilised  countries ;  it  mediated  now  between  the 
East  and  the  West,  the  products  and  manufactures  of 
the  near  and  distant  East,  and  the  natural  products  of 
the  near  and  distant  West,  between  the  ancient  civilis- 
ation of  the  East  and  the  young  life  of  the  nations  of 
the  West.  It  was  above  all  the  metals  of  the  West,  the 
gold  of  the  Thracian,  the  copper  of  the  Italian  islands, 
the  silver  of  Tartessus,  which  the  ships  of  the  Phenicians 
carried  into  the  harbours  of  the  mother-cities  :  the 
nations  of  the  West  received  in  return  weapons,  and 
metal  vases,  ornaments,  variegated  cloths,  and  purple 
garments.  The  works  of  Babylonian  and  Egyptian 
style,  the  works  which  are  found  in  the  tombs  of  Caere, 
Clusium,  Alsium,  at  Corneto  and  Praeneste,  adorned 
in  types  at  once  Egyptian  and  Babylonian- Assyrian, 
like  the  implements  and  ornaments  found  in  the 
tombs  of  Spata  and  Mycenae,  can  only  have  come  into 
the  possession  of  the  Etruscans,  Latins,  and  Lucanians 
from  intercourse  with  the  Phenicians,  the  Phenician 
colonies  of  Sicily,  or  from  the  trade  with  Carthage.1 

From  Gades  the  Phenicians  succeeded  in  forcing 
their  way  farther  to  the  Atlantic  Ocean.  Phenician 
colonies  were  founded  on  the  west  coast  of  Africa. 

1  Helbig,  "Annali  del  Inst.  AicV  1876,  pp.  57,  117,  247  ff. 


Lixus,  the  oldest  and  most  important  of  these  (Lach- 
ash,  now  El  Araish),  at  the  mouth  of  the  river  of  the 
same  name  (now  Wadi  el  Ghos),  is  said  to  have  been  the 
seat  of  a  famous  sanctuary  of  Melkarth.1  Strabo  is  of 
opinion  that  these  colonies  of  the  Phenicians  beyond 
the  pillars  of  Hercules  were  built  soon  after  the  Trojan 
war,  i.  e.  about  the  year  1100  B.C.2  Diodorus  told 
us  already  how  Phenician  ships,  steering  to  the  coast 
of  Libya  in  order  to  explore  the  sea  beyond  the  pillars 
were  carried  away  by  a  storm  far  into  the  ocean,  and  dis- 
covered a  large  island  opposite  Libya,  which,  from  the 
pleasantness  of  the  air  and  the  abundance  of  blessings, 
seemed  fitted  to  be  the  dwelling  of  the  gods  rather 
than  men  (p.  82).  We  can  hardly  doubt,  therefore, 
that  the  Phenicians  visited  Madeira  and  the  Canary 

Tin  was  early  known  to  the  ancient  world,  and 
was  indispensable  for  the  alloy  of  copper,  but  it  could 
only  be  found  mixed  with  copper  in  the  mines  of  the 
Chalybes  and  Tibarenes  (the  Tabal  of  the  Assyrians, 
the  Tubal  of  the  Hebrews),  whose  name  is  found  in 
Genesis  in  Tubal-cain,  the  first  smith,  the  father  of 
them  that  work  in  brass  and  iron  (I.  539).  Besides 
these,  there  were  tin  mines  only  in  the  lofty  Hin- 
dukush,  in  the  north-west  of  Iberia,  and  in  the  south- 
west of  England.3  Herodotus  observes :  Tin  and 
amber  come  from  the  extreme  western  ends  of  Europe. 
He  could  not  learn  from  any  eye-witness  whether  there 
was  a  sea  there,  though  he  had  taken  much  trouble  in 
the  matter.  Pliny  tells  us :  Midacritus  first  brought 

1  Pliny,  "  Hist.  Nat."  s.  1 ;  19,  22.     Cf.  Movers,  loc.  cit.  2,  2,  537  ff. 

2  Strabo,  p.  48;  cf.  p.  150. 

*  The  German  tin-mines  were  not  opened  till  the  middle  ages ;  those 
of  farther  India  in  the  last  century;  Miillenhoff,  "Deutsche  Alter- 
tumskunde,"  s.  24. 


tin  from  the  island  Kassiteris,  i.  e.  the  tin-island.1  It 
was  the  Phenicians  who  obtained  tin,  and  they  did  not 
obtain  it  from  Iberia  only:  their  ships  sailed  through  the 
Bay  of  Biscay,  they  became  acquainted  with  the  shore  of 
Brittany,  which  appears  to  have  been  known  to  them 
as  (Estrymnis ;  they  discovered  the  tin  islands,  i.  e. 
the  Channel  Islands,  the  coast  of  Cornwall,  and  even 
the  island  of  Albion.2  The  tin-islands  or  Kassiterides 
of  the  Greeks  are  the  islands  of  the  north-west  ocean, 
known  to  the  Phenicians,  who  procured  tin  from  them. 

The  Homeric  poems  often  mention  amber,  which, 
worked  into  ornaments,  Phenician  ships  brought  to 
the  Greeks.  Ornaments  of  amber  are  met  with  in 
the  oldest  tombs  of  Cumae,  in  the  tombs  at  the  Lion's 
Gate  at  Mycenae.8  Hence  the  Phenicians  must  have 
been  in  possession  of  amber  as  early  as  the  eleventh 
century  B.C.  Amber  was  found  not  only  on  the  shores 
of  the  Baltic,  but  also  on  the  coast  of  the  North  Sea, 
between  the  mouth  of  the  Rhine  and  the  Elbe.  We 
may  therefore  draw  the  conclusion  that  in  the  eleventh 
and  tenth  centuries  B.C.  they  must  have  advanced  far 
enough  in  the  Channel  towards  the  mouth  of  the  Rhine, 
or  beyond  it,  to  obtain  amber  by  exchange  or  collect 
it  themselves,  unless  we  assume  an  extensive  inter- 
course between  the  Celts  and  Germans.4 

The  starting-point,  harbour,  and  emporium  for  the 
trade  in  the  West  and  the  voyages  beyond  the  pillars 
of  Melkarth  in  the  Atlantic  Ocean  was  Gades.  Long 
after  the  naval  power  of  the  Phenicians  and  Carthage 

1  Herod.  3,  115;  Pliny,  "Hist.  Nat."  7,  57. 

2  At  a  later  time  we  meet  with  tlie  name  Prettanian  islands.      Ynis 
Prydein,  i.  e.  island  of  Prydein,  was  the  name  given  by  the  Welsh  to 
their  land ;  Miillenhoff,  loc.  cit.  s.  88  ff,  93  ff . 

3  Helbig,  "  Commercio  dell  ambra,"  p.  10,  n.  4.    On  the  amber  in  the 
tombs  east  of  the  Apennines,  pp.  15,  16. 

*  Miillenhoff,  loc.  cit.  s.  223. 


had  perished,  Gades  remained  a  great,  rich,  and  flour- 
ishing city  of  trade.  Strabo  describes  it  thus  :  "  Situ- 
ated on  a  small  island  not  much  more  than  a  hundred 
stades  in  length,  and  scarce  a  stade  in  breadth,  without 
any  possessions  on  the  mainland  or  the  islands,  this 
city  sends  out  the  most  and  largest  ships,  and  seems 
to  yield  to  no  other  city,  except  Rome,  in  the  number 
of  the  inhabitants.  But  the  greater  part  do  not  live 
in  the  city,  but  on  ships."  l 

In  the  tenth  century  B.C.  the  navigation  and  trade 
of  the  Phenicians  extended  from  the  coasts  of  the 
Arabian  Sea,  from  the  Somali  coast,  and  perhaps  from 
the  mouths  of  the  Indus  as  far  as  the  coast  of  Britain  ; 
from  the  coasts  of  Mauritania  on  the  Atlantic  to  the 
Tigris,  from  Armenia  to  the  Sabaeans.  Stretching 
out  far  in  every  direction,  they  had  as  yet  suffered 
reverses  in  one  region  only,  in  the  basin  of  the  ^Egean 
Sea.  Their  trade  and  intercourse  was  not  indeed  de- 
stroyed, but  their  mines,  their  colonies  on  the  islands 
of  this  sea  and  the  coasts  of  Hellas,  were  lost.  Before 
Hiram  ascended  the  throne  of  Tyre,  the  Phenicians, 
after  teaching  Babylonian  weights  and  measures,  the 
building  of  fortresses  and  walls,  and  mining  to  the 
Greeks,  and  bringing  them  their  alphabet  (p.  57),  were 
compelled  to  retire  before  the  increasing  strength  of 
the  Greek  cantons,  not  only  from  the  coasts  of  Hellas, 
but  also  from  the  islands  of  the  ^Egean.  The  trade, 
however,  with  the  Hellenes  continued  as  before,  in 
lively  vigour,  so  far  as  the  Homeric  descriptions  can 
be  accepted  as  evidence.  The  most  valuable  possessions 
in  the  treasuries  of  the  Greek  princes  are  Sidonian 
works  of  art.  Phenician  ships  often  show  themselves 
in  Greek  waters.  When  one  of  these  merchantmen  is 
anchored,  the  wares  are  set  out  in  the  ship,  or  under 

1  Strabo,  p.  168. 


tents  on  the  shore,  or  the  Phenicians  offer  them  for 
sale  in  the  nearest  place.  A  Phenician  vessel  laden 
with  all  kinds  of  ornaments  lands  on  an  island ;  after 
the  Phenicians  have  sold  many  wares  they  offer  to 
the  queen  a  necklace  of  gold  and  amber,  and  at  the 
same  time  they  carry  off  her  son,  and  sell  him  on 
another  island.  A  Phenician  freights  a  ship  to  Libya, 
and  persuades  a  Greek  to  go  with  him  as  overseer  of  the 
lading :  he  intended  to  sell  him  there  as  a  slave.  Along 
with  these  notices  in  the  Homeric  poems  on  the  trade 
of  the  Phenicians,  an  account  has  also  come  down  to 
us  from  an  Eastern  source.  The  prophet  Joel,  who 
prophesied  about  the  year  830  B.C.,  says,  in  regard  to 
the  invasion  of  the  Philistines  in  Judah,  which  took 
place  about  the  year  845  B.C.,  and  brought  them  to  the 
walls  of  Jerusalem  (p.  252) ;  Tyre  and  Sidon,  and  all 
the  regions  of  the  land  of  the  Philistines,  have  stolen 
the  silver  and  gold  of  Jehovah,  and  carried  the  costly 
things  into  their  temples ;  the  sons  of  Judah  and 
Jerusalem  they  sold  to  the  sons  of  Javan  (the  Greeks), 
in  order  to  remove  them  far  from  their  land.1 

For  the  colonies  which  the  Phenicians  had  to  give 
up  on  the  Greek  coasts  and  islands,  they  found  a  rich 
compensation  in  the  strengthening  and  increase  of 
their  colonies  on  the  west  of  the  Mediterranean,  on 
Sardinia,  where  they  built  Caralis  (Cagliari)  on  the 
southern  shore,  on  Corsica,  on  the  north  coast  of 
Africa,  where  Carthage  arose  about  the  middle  of  the 
ninth  century  (p.  269),  and  on  the  shores  of  Iberia.  But 
another  loss  which  befell  them  in  the  East  could  not  be 
made  good  so  easily.  After  king  Jehoshaphat's  death 
(848  B.C.),  even  before  the  invasion  of  the  Philistines, 

1  Joeliii.  4  ff.  On  the  date  of  Joel,  supra,  p.  260,  n.  2.  De  Wette- 
Schrader,  "  Einleitung,"  s.  454.  According  to  the  data  established 
above,  the  minority  of  Joash  falls  between  837  and  825  B.C. 

304  PH(ENICIA. 

the  kingdom  of  Judah,  as  we  saw  (p.  252),  lost  the 
sovereignty  over  the  Edomites.  Hence  the  harbour- 
city  of  Elath  was  lost  to  the  Phenicians  also,  and  the 
Ophir  trade  at  an  end,  a  century  and  a  half  after 
it  began.  Though  50  years  later,  when  Judah  under 
Amaziah  and  Uzziah  had  reconquered  the  Edomites, 
and  Elath  was  rebuilt,  this  navigation,  as  it  seems, 
was  again  set  in  motion,  this  restoration  was  of  no  lono- 

O  *  o 

continuance.  After  the  middle  of  the  eighth  century 
the  Phenicians  were  finally  limited  for  their  trade  with 
the  Sabaeans  to  the  caravan  routes  through  Arabia. 

A  still  more  serious  source  of  danger  was  the  ap- 
proach of  the  Assyrian  power  to  the  Syrian  coast. 
In  the  course  of  the  ninth  century  (from  876  B.C.), 
as  has  been  remarked  above,  Assyrian  armies  repeat- 
edly showed  themselves  in  Syria,  and  their  departure 
had  repeatedly  to  be  purchased  by  tribute.  As  this 
pressure  increased,  and  the  Assyrian  rulers  insisted  on 
pushing  forward  the  borders  of  their  kingdom  towards 
Syria  as  far  as  the  shores  of  the  Mediterranean,  as 
the  cities  of  the  Phenicians  became  subject  to  a  power 
the  centre  of  which  lay  in  the  distant  interior,  the 
trade  not  to  the  East  but  to  the  West  came  into 
question,  and  it  was  doubtful  whether  the  cities, 
when  embodied  in  a  great  land-power,  could  retain 
Cyprus  in  subjection,  and  keep  up  the  trade  with 
Egypt,  and  the  connection  with  their  colonies  in  the 
West.  The  doubt  became  greater  when,  after  the 
beginning  of  the  eighth  century  B.C.,  a  dangerous 
opposition  rose  in  the  Mediterranean,  and  a  still 
more  serious  competition  against  the  Phenicians.  Not 
content  with  driving  the  Phenicians  out  of  the  ^Egean 
Sea,  with  obtaining  possession  of  the  islands  and  the 
west  coast  of  Asia  Minor,  the  Hellenes  spread  farther 
and  farther  to  the  west.  Already  they  had  got 

THE  TRADE  OF  THE  PHES1CIAN3.         305 

Ehodes  into  their  hands  ;  they  were  already  settled  off 
the  coast  of  Syria,  on  the  island  of  Cyprus,  among 
the  ancient  cities  of  the  Phenicians.  Still  more 
vigorous  was  the  growth  of  their  settlements  to  the 
west  of  the  Mediterranean.  After  founding  Cyme 
(Cumae)  on  the  coast  of  Lower  Italy,  they  built  in 
Sicily,  after  the  middle  of  the  eighth  century,  in 
quick  succession,  Naxus  (738  B.C.),  Syracuse  (735  B.C.), 
Catana  (730  B.C.),  and  Megara  (728  B.C.),  to  which 
were  quickly  added  Rhegium,  Sybaris,  Croton,  and 
Tarentum  in  Lower  Italy  (720—708  B.C.).  Were  the 
cities  of  the  Phenicians  in  Sicily,  Rus  Melkarth,  Motye, 
Panormus,  Soloeis,  and  Eryx  (p.  79),  in  a  position  to 
hold  the  balance  against  these  rivals  and  their  naviga- 

o  o 

tion  ?  The  injurious  effects  of  the  competition  of  a 
rival  power  by  sea  for  the  trade  of  the  Phenicians 
must  have  increased  when,  in  the  seventh  century,  the 
cities  of  the  Greeks  in  Sicily  increased  in  number,  and 
Egypt  was  opened  to  them  about  the  middle  of  this 
century;  when,  in  the  year  630  B.C.,  the  first  Greek 
city,  Gyrene,  rose  on  the  shore  of  Africa,  and  about 
the  same  time  the  Greeks  entered  into  direct  trade 
connections  with  Tartessus ;  when  at  the  close  of  this 
century  a  Greek  city  was  built  on  the  shore  of  the 
Ligystian  Sea,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Rhone,  and  soon 
after  the  settlements  of  the  Greeks  in  Sicily  and  in 
the  west  of  the  Mediterranean  began  to  multiply. 
While  in  this  manner  the  field  of  Phenician  trade 
was  limited  by  the  constant  advance  of  the  Greeks, 
the  mother-cities,  from  the  same  period,  the  middle  of 
the  eighth  century,  had  to  feel  the  whole  weight  of 
the  development  of  Assyrian  power.  And  when  this 
pressure  ceased,  in  the  second  half  of  the  seventh 
century,  it  was  followed  by  the  still  more  burden- 
some oppression  of  the  Babylonian  empire. 

VOL.    II.  X 


Yet  in  spite  of  all  hindrances  and  losses,  a  prophet 
of  the  Hebrews  after  the  middle  of  the  eighth  century 
could  say  of  Tyre,  that  "  she  built  herself  strongholds, 
and  heaped  up  silver  as  the  dust,  and  fine  gold  as  the 
mire  of  the  streets." 1  And  Ezekiel  at  the  beginning 
of  the  sixth  century  describes  the  trade  of  Tyre  in 
the  following  manner :  "  Thou  who  dwellest  at  the 
entrance  of  the  sea,  who  art  the  trader  of  the  nations 
to  many  islands  !  On  mighty  waters  thy  rowers  carry 
thee ;  thy  trade  goes  out  over  all  seas  ;  thou  satisfiest 
many  nations ;  thou  hast  enriched  the  kings  of  the 
earth  by  the  multitude  of  thy  goods  and  wares.  Thou 
art  become  mighty  in  the  midst  of  the  sea.  All  ships 
of  the  sea  and  their  sailors  were  in  thee  to  purchase 
thy  wares.  Persians  and  Libyans  and  Lydians  serve 
in  thee  ;  they  are  thy  warriors ;  they  hang  shield  and 
helmet  on  thy  walls :  thy  own  warriors  stand  round 
on  the  walls,  and  brave  men  are  on  all  thy  towers. 
Syria  is  thy  merchant,  because  of  the  number  of  the 
wares  of  thy  skill ;  they  make  thy  fairs  with  emeralds, 
purple,  and  broidered  work,  and  fine  linen,  and  coral, 
and  agate.  Damascus  is  thy  merchant  in  the  mul- 
titude of  the  wares  of  thy  making,  in  the  wine  of 
Helbon,  and  white  wool.  Judah  and  the  land  of 
Israel  were  thy  merchants;  they  traded  in  thy  market 
wheat  and  pastry  and  honey.  They  of  the  house  of 
Togarmah  (Armenia)  traded  in  thy  fairs  with  horses 
and  mules.  Haran,  Canneh,  and  Asshur,  and  Childmad 
were  thy  merchants  in  costly  robes,  in  blue  cloths 
and  embroidered  work,  and  chests  of  cedar-wood  full 
of  damasks  bound  with  cords,  in  thy  place  of  mer- 
chandise. Dedan  (the  Dedanites  2)  is  thy  merchant 
in  horse  -  cloths  for  riding.  Wedan  brings  tissues 

1  The  older  Zechariah  ix.  3,  and  De  "Wette-Sclirader,  "  Einleitung,' 
B.  480.  2  Vol.  i.  p.  314. 


to  thy  markets :  forged  iron,  cassia,  and  calamus 
were  brought  to  thy  markets.  Arabia  and  all  the 
princes  of  Kedar  are  ready  for  thee  with  lambs,  rams, 
and  goats.  The  merchants  of  Sabsea  and  Ramah 1 
traffic  with  thee  ;  they  occupied  in  thy  fairs  with  the 
chief  of  all  spices,  and  with  all  precious  stones  and 
gold.  Javan  (the  Greeks),  Tubal,  and  Mesech  (the 
Tibarenes  and  Moschi)  are  thy  merchants;  they 
trade  with  silver,  iron,  tin,  and  lead.  Many  islands 
are  at  hand  to  thee  for  trade ;  they  brought  thee  for 
payment  horns  of  ivory  arid  ebony.  The  ships  of 
Tarshish  are  thy  caravans  in  thy  trade :  so  art  thou 
replenished  and  mighty  in  the  midst  of  the  sea."  2 

1  Yol.  i.  p.  314.  2  Ezekiel  xxvii. 




THE  campaigns  which  Tiglath  Pilesar,  king  of  Asshur, 
undertook  towards  the  West  about  the  end  of  the 
twelfth  century,  and  which  carried  him  to  the  Upper 
Euphrates  and  into  Northern  Syria,  remained  with- 
out lasting  result.  The  position  which  Tiglath  Pilesar 
then  had  won  on  the  Euphrates  was  not  main- 
tained by  his  successors  in  any  one  instance.  More 
than  200  years  after  Tiglath  Pilesar  we  find  Tiglath 
Adar  II.  (889 — 883  B.C.)  again  in  conflict  with  the 
same  opponents  who  had  given  his  forefather  such 
trouble — with  the  mountaineers  of  the  land  of  Nairi, 
the  district  between  the  highland  valley  of  Albak  on  the 
Greater  Zab  and  the  Zibene-Su,  the  eastern  source  of 
the  Tigris.  The  son  and  successor  of  this  Tiglath  Adar, 
Assumasirpal,  was  the  first  whom  we  see  again  under- 
taking more  distant  campaigns ;  the  successful  results 
of  which  are  the  basis  of  a  considerable  extension  of 
the  Assyrian  power. 

Assumasirpal  also  chiefly  directed  his  arms  against 
the  mountain-land  in  the  north.  On  his  first  cam- 
paign he  fought  on  the  borders  of  Urarti,  i.  e.  of  the 
land  of  Ararat,  the  region  of  the  Upper  Araxes.  In 
the  second  year  of  his  reign  (881  B.C.)  he  marched  out 
of  the  city  of  Nineveh,  crossed  the  Tigris,  and  imposed 
tribute  on  the  land  of  Kummukh  (Gumathene,  p.  41), 
and  the  Moschi,  in  asses,  oxen,  sheep,  and  goats.  In  the 
third  year  he  caused  his  image  to  be  hewn  in  the  place 


where  Tiglath  Pilesar  and  Tiglath  Adar  his  fathers  had 
chosen  to  set  up  their  images  ;  he  tells  us  that  his  own 
was  engraved  beside  the  others. l  Only  the  image  of 
Tiglath  Pilesar  I.  is  preserved  at  Karkar.  Assurnasirpal 
received  tribute  from  the  princes  of  the  land  of  Nairi — 
bars  of  gold  and  silver,  iron,  oxen  and  sheep  ;  arid 
placed  a  viceroy  over  the  land  of  Nairi.  But  the  sub- 
jugation was  not  yet  complete ;  Assurnasirpal  related 
that  on  a  later  campaign  he  destroyed  250  places  in 
the  land  of  Nairi.2  He  tells  us  further,  that  on  his 
tenth  campaign  he  reduced  the  land  of  Kirchi,  took 
the  city  of  Amida  (now  Diarbekr),  and  plundered  it.3 
Below  this  city,  on  the  bank  of  the  Tigris  at  Kurkh 
(Karch),  there  is  a  stone  tablet  which  represents  him 
after  the  pattern  of  Tiglath  Pilesar  at  Karkar  (p.  40.) 

Between  these  conflicts  in  the  north  lie  campaigns 
to  the  south  and  west.  In  the  year  879  B.C.  he 
marched  out,  as  he  tells  us,  from  Chalah.  On  the 
other  bank  of  the  Tigris  he  collected  a  heavy  tribute, 
then  he  marched  to  the  Euphrates,  took  the  city  of 
Suri  in  the  land  of  Sukhi,  and  caused  his  image  to  be 
set  up  in  this  city.  Fifty  horsemen  and  the  warriors 
of  Nebu-Baladan,  king  of  Babylon  (Kardunias),  had 
fallen  into  his  hand,  and  the  land  of  the  Chaldaeans 
had  been  seized  with  fear  of  his  weapons.4  We  must 
conclude  therefore  that  the  king  of  Babylon  had  sent 
auxiliary  troops  to  the  prince  of  the  land  of  Sukhi 
(whom  the  inscriptions  call  Sadudu).  In  the  following 
year  he  occupied  the  region  at  the  confluence  of  the 
Chaboras  with  the  Euphrates,  crossed  the  Euphrates 
on  rafts,  and  conquered  the  inhabitants  of  the  lands  of 
Sukhi,  Laki,  and  Khindaui,  which  had  marched  out  with 
6000  men  to  meet  him.  On  the  banks  of  the  Euphrates 

1  Menant,  "  Ann."  pp.  71,  72,  73.     2  Menant,  loc.  cit.  p.  82. 
3  Menant,  loc.  cit.  pp.  90,  91.         4  Menant,  loc.  cit.  p.  84. 

310  ASSYRIA. 

he   then   founded   two    cities ;    that   on    the   further 
bank  bore  the  name  of  "  Dur-Assurnasirpal,"  and  that 
on   the   nearer   bank   the  name  of   "  Nibarti-Assur." 
During  this  time  he  pretends  to  have  slain  50  Am  si  (p. 
43)  on  the  Euphrates,  and  captured  20  ;  to  have  slain 
20  eagles  and  captured  20.1     Then  he  turned  against 
Karchemish,  in  the  land  of  the  Chatti  (p.  43).     In  the 
year  876  B.C.  he  collected  tribute  in   the  regions  of 
Bit  Bakhian  and  Bit  Adin  in  the  neighbourhood  of 
Karchemish,  and  afterwards  laid  upon  Sangar,  king  of 
Karchemish,  a  tribute  of  20  talents  of  silver,  and  100 
talents    of   iron.      From    Karchemish    Assurnasirpal 
marched  against  the  land  of  Labnana,  i.  e.  the  land 
of  Lebanon.     King  Lubarna  in  the  land  of  the  Chatti 
submitted,  and  had  to  pay  even  heavier  tribute  than 
the  king  of  Karchemish.     Assurnasirpal  reached  the 
Orontes    (Arantu),    took    the    marches   of    Lebanon, 
marched  to  the  great  sea  of  the  western  land,  offered 
sacrifice  to  the  gods,  and  received  the  tribute  of  the 
princes  of  the  sea-coasts,  the  prince  of  Tyre  (Ssurru), 
of  Sidon  (Ssidunu),  of  Byblus  (Gubli),  and  the  city  of 
Arvada  (Aradus),  "which  is  in  the  sea"   (p.  277) — 
bars  of  silver,  gold,  and  lead  ; — "  they  embraced  his 
feet."     Then  the  king  marched  against  the  mountains 
of   Chamani    (Amanus)  ;    here  he  causes  cedars  and 
pines  to  be  felled  for  the  temples  of  his  gods,  and  the 
narrative  of  his  exploits  to  be  written  on  the  rocks, 
and  worshipped  at  Nineveh  before  the  goddess  Istar.2 
According   to  the   evidence  of   these    inscriptions, 
Assurnasirpal  established  the  supremacy  of  Assyria  in 
the  region  of  the  sources  of  the  Tigris.     But  even  he 
does   not  appear   to   have  gone   much   further   than 
Tiglath  Pilesar  before  him,  for  he  also  fought  once  on 
the  borders  of  Armenia,  i.  e.  of  the  land  of  Ararat,  and 

1  Menant,  p.  86.  2  E.  Schrader,  "K  A.  T."  s.  66,  67. 


on  the  other  hand  forced  his  way  as  far  as  the  upper 
course  of  the  Eastern  Euphrates.  Against  Babylon 
he  undertook,  so  far  as  we  can  see,  no  offensive  war  ; 
he  was  content  to  drive  out  of  the  field  the  auxiliaries 
which  Nebu-Baladan  of  Babylon  sent  to  a  prince  on 
the  middle  Euphrates  without  pursuing  the  advantage 
further.  The  most  important  results  which  he  obtained 
were  in  the  west.  He  gained  the  land  of  the  Chaboras, 
and  fixed  himself  firmly  on  the  Euphrates  above  the 
mouth  of  that  river.  To  secure  the  crossing  he  built 
a  fortress  on  either  side,  and  then  forced  his  way  from 
here  to  the  mountain  land  of  the  Amanus,  to  the 
Orontes  and  Lebanon.  For  the  first  time  the  cities  of 
the  Phenicians  paid  tribute  to  the  king  on  the  banks 
of  the  Tigris  ;  Arvad  (Aradus),  Gebal  (Byblus),  Sidon, 
and  Tyre,  where  at  this  time,  as  we  saw  (p.  267), 
Mutton,  the  son  of  Ethbaal,  was  king. 

Shalmanesar  I.,who  reigned  over  Assyria  about  the 
year  1300  B.C.,  built,  as  we  have  remarked  above,  the 
city  of  Chalah  (Nimrud),  on  the  eastern  bank  of  the 
Tigris  above  the  confluence  of  the  Greater  Zab.  The 
remains  of  the  outer  walls  show  that  this  city  formed 
a  tolerably  regular  square,  and  that  the  western  wall 
ran  down  to  the  ancient  course  of  the  Tigris,  which 
can  still  be  traced.  In  the  south-western  corner  of 
the  city,  on  a  terrace  of  unburnt  bricks,  rose  the 
palaces  of  the  kings  and  the  chief  temples.  They 
were  shut  off  towards  the  city  by  a  separate  wall. 
Nearly  in  the  middle  of  this  terrace  on  the  river-side 
we  may  trace  the  foundation- works  of  a  great  building, 
called  by  our  explorers  the  north-west  palace.  In  the 
remains  of  this  structure,  on  two  surfaces  on  the 
upper  and  lower  sides  of  a  large  stone,  which  forms 
the  floor  of  a  niche  in  a  large  room,  is  engraved  an 
inscription  of  Assurnasirpal,  and  a  second  on  a 

312  ASSYRIA. 

memorial  stone  of  12  to  13  feet  high.  Inscriptions  on 
the  slabs  of  the  reliefs  with  which  the  halls  of  the 
building  were  adorned  repeat  the  text  of  these  inscrip- 
tions in  an  abbreviated  manner.  They  tell  us  that  the 
ancient  city  of  Chalah,  which  Shalmanesar  the  Great 
founded,  was  desolate  and  in  ruins  ;  Assurnasirpal 
built  it  up  afresh  from  the  ground  j1  he  led  a  canal 
from  the  Greater  Zab,  and  gave  it  the  name  of  Pati- 
kanik ; 2  traces  and  remains  are  left,  which  show  us 
that  the  course  of  the  canal  from  the  Greater  Zab 
led  directly  north  to  the  city.  Cedars,  pines,  and 
cypresses  of  Mount  Chamani  (Amanus)  had  he  caused 
to  be  felled  for  the  temples  of  Adar,  Sin,  and  Samas, 
his  lords.3  He  built  temples  at  Chalah  for  Adar,  Bilit, 
Sin,  and  Bin.  He  made*  the  image  of  the  god  Adar, 
and  set  it  up  to  his  great  divinity  in  the  city  of  Chalah, 
and  in  the  piety  of  his  heart  dedicated  the  sacred  bull 
to  this  great  divinity.  For  the  habitation  of  his  king- 
dom, and  the  seat  of  his  monarchy,  he  founded  and 
completed  a  palace.  Whosoever  reigns  after  him  in 
the  succession  of  days  may  he  preserve  this  palace  in 
Chalah,  the  witness  of  his  glory,  from  ruin ;  may  he  not 
surrender  it  to  rebels,  may  he  not  overthrow  his  pillars, 
his  roof,  his  beams,  or  change  it  for  another  structure, 
or  alter  his  inscriptions,  the  narrative  of  his  glory. 
"  Then  will  Asshur  the  lord  and  the  great  god  exalt 
him,  and  give  him  all  lands  of  the  earth,  extend  his 
dominion  over  the  four  quarters  of  the  world,  and  pour 
abundance,  purity,  and  peace  over  his  kingdom."  4 

The  palace  of  Assurnasirpal  at  Chalah  was  a  build- 
ing about  360  feet  in  length  and  300  feet  in  breadth. 
Two  great  portals  guarded  by  winged  lions  with 
bearded  human  heads,  the  images  or  symbols  of  the 
god  Nergal,  led  from  the  north  to  a  long  and  propor- 

1  Schra-ler,  Joe.  s.  20,  21.  2  "Becords  of  the  Past,"  3,  79. 

3  Menant,  Joe.  fit.  p.  89.  4  Menant,  p.  93. 


tionately  narrow  portico  of  154  feet  in  length  and  35 
feet  in  breadth.  In  the  south  wall  of  this  portico  a 
broad  door,  by  which  stand  two  winged  human-headed 
bulls,  images  of  the  god  Adar,  and  hewn  out  of  yellow 
limestone,  opens  into  a  hall  100  feet  long  and  25 
broad.  On  the  east  and  south  sides  also  of  the  central 
court  (the  west  side  is  entirely  destroyed)  lie  two 
longer  halls,  and  a  considerable  number  of  larger  and 
smaller  chambers.  The  height  of  the  rooms  appears  to 
have  been  from  1 6  to  1 8  feet.1  The  walls  of  the  northern 
portico  were  covered  with  slabs  of  alabaster  to  a  height 
of  10  or  12  feet,  on  which  were  reliefs  of  the  martial 
exploits  of  the  king,  his  battles,  his  sieges,  his  hunting 
— he  claims  to  have  killed  no  fewer  than  370  mighty 
lions,  and  to  have  taken  75  alive.  The  reliefs  on  the 
slabs  of  the  second  hall,  which  abuts  on  this,  exhibit 
colossal  forms  with  eagle  heads.  Above  the  slabs  the 
masonry  of  the  walls  was  concealed  by  tiles  coloured 
and  glazed,  or  by  painted  arabesques.  Beside  the 
fragments  of  this  building  a  statue  of  the  builder, 
Assurnasirpal,  was  discovered.  On  a  simple  base  of 
square  stone  stands  a  figure  in  an  attitude  of  serious 
repose,  in  a  long  robe,  without  any  covering  to  the 
head,  with  long  hair  and  strong  beard,  holding  a  sort 
of  sickle  in  the  right  hand,  and  a  short  staff  in  the 
left.2  On  the  breast  we  read,  "  Assurnasirpal,  the 
great  king,  the  mighty  king,  the  king  of  the  nations, 
the  king  of  Asshur,  the  son  of  Tiglath  Adar,  king  of 
Asshur,  the  son  of  Bin-nirar,  king  of  Asshur.  Victori- 
ous from  the  Tigris  to  the  land  of  Labnana  (Lebanon), 
to  the  great  sea,  he  subjugated  all  lands  from  the  rising 
to  the  setting  of  the  sun."3  An  image  in  relief  at  the 
entrance  of  the  west  of  the  two  temples  which  this 
king  built,  to  the  north  of  his  palace,  on  the  terrace  of 

1  G.  Eawlinson,  "  Monarch."  22,  94. 

1  G.  Rawlinson,  "  Monarch."  1*,  310.         3  Menant,  for.  cif.  p.  H7. 

314  ASSYRIA. 

Chalah  (at  the  entrance  to  the  first  are  two  colossal 
winged  lions  with  the  throats  open,  and  at  the 
entrance  of  the  second  two  wingless  lions),  exhibits 
the  king  with  the  Kidaris  on  his  head,  and  his  hand 
upraised ;  before  the  base  of  the  relief  stands  a  small 
sacrificial  altar.1  We  have  already  mentioned  the 
image  of  Assurnasirpal  which  he  had  engraved  near 
Kurkh,  and  which  is  preserved  there.  According  to 
inscriptions  lately  discovered,  and  not  yet  published, 
Assurnasirpal  built  a  palace  at  Niniveh  also,  and 
restored  the  ancient  temple  of  Istar,  which  Samsi-Bin 
formerly  erected  there  (p.  31).a 

The  reign  of  Assurnasirpal  gave  the  impulse  to  a 
warlike  movement  which  continued  in  force  long  after 
his  time,  and  extended  the  power  of  Assyria  in  every 
direction.  His  son,  Shalmanesar  II.,  who  ascended 
the  throne  in  859  B.C.,  followed  in  the  path  of  his 
father.  In  the  first  years  of  his  reign  he  fought  against 
Khubuskia,  which,  as  we  find  from  the  inscriptions, 
was  a  district  lying  on  the  Greater  Zab,  against  a 
prince  of  the  land  of  Nairi  (p.  41),  against  the  prince 
of  Ararat  (Urarti),  Arami,  and  received  the  tribute  of 
the  land  of  Kummukh  (p.  41).  He  crosses  the 
r'ver  Arzania — either  the  Arsanias  (Murad-Su),  the 
Eastern  Euphrates,  or  the  Arzen-Su  (Nicephorius), 
which  falls  into  the  Tigris  before  it  bends  to  the 
south — and  takes  the  city  of  Arzaska  in  Urarti,  i.  e. 
perhaps  Arsissa,  on  Lake  Van,3  These  wars  in  the 
north  were  followed  by  battles  on  the  Euphrates.  He 
conquers  the  city  of  Pethor  on  this  side  of  the 
Euphrates,  and  the  city  of  Mutunu  on  the  farther  side, 
which  Tiglath  Pilesar  had  won,  but  Assur-rab-amar 

1  G.  Bawlinson,  "Monarch."  I2,  319  ;  2*,  97. 

2  G-.  Smith,  "  Discov."  pp.  91,  141,  252. 

3  Sayce,  "  Records  of  the  Past,"  pp.  94,  95. 


had  restored  by  a  treaty  to  the  king  of  Aram,  and 
settled  Assyrians  in  both  places.  Then  he  fought 
against  a  prince  of  the  name  of  Akhuni,  who  resided 
at  Tul  Barsip  on  the  Euphrates.  Shalmanesar  takes 
this  city,  transplants  the  inhabitants  to  Assyria,  and 
calls  it  Kar-Salmanassar.  He  receives  the  tribute 
of  Sangar,  prince  of  Karchemish,  against  whom  his 
father  had  fought,  and  finally  took  Akhuni  himself 
prisoner.1  Then  he  advances  towards  Chamani  (to 
the  Amanus),  crosses  the  Arantu  (Orontes) ;  Pikhirim 
of  the  land  of  Chilaku  (i.  e.  of  Cilicia)  is  conquered 
by  him.2 

The  next  object  of  the  arms  of  Shalmanesar  was 
Syria,  which  he  had  merely  touched  on  the  north  in 
passing  by  on  the  campaign  against  Cilicia.  On  a 
memorial  stone  which  he  set  up  at  Kurkh,  on  the  Upper 
Tigris,  where  we  already  found  the  image  of  Assur- 
nasirpal, — the  stone  is  now  in  the  British  Museum, — 
Shalmanesar  tells  us  that  in  the  year  854  B.C.  he 
left  Nineveh,  marched  to  Kar-Salmanassar,  and  there 
received  the  tribute  of  Sangar  of  Karchemish,  Kutaspi 
of  Kummukh,  and  others.  "From  the  Euphrates  I 
marched  forth,  and  advanced  against  the  city  of  Hal- 
wan.  They  avoided  a  battle  and  embraced  my  feet. 
I  received  gold  and  silver  from  them  as  their  tribute. 
I  made  rich  offerings  to  Bin,  the  god  of  Hal  wan.  From 
Hal  wan  I  set  forth  and  marched  against  two  cities  of 


Irchulina  of  Hamath.  Argana,  his  royal  city,  I  took  ; 
his  prisoners,  the  goods  and  treasures  of  his  palace,  I 
carried  away ;  I  threw  fire  upon  his  palaces.  From 
Argana  I  marched  forth  to  Karkar.  I  destroyed 
Karkar  and  laid  it  waste  and  burnt  it  with  fire. 
Twelve  hundred  chariots,  1200  horsemen,  20,000  men 

1  According  to  the  inscription  of  Kurkh  in  the  year  856 ;  according 
to  the  obelisk  854  B.C.  3  Menant,  "  Ann."  p.  107. 

316  ASSYRIA. 

of  Benhadad  of  Damascus  ; l  700  chariots,  700  horse- 
men, 10,000  men  of  Irchulina  of  Hamath ;  200 
(?2000)  chariots,  10,000  men  of  Ahab  of  Israel;  500 
men  of  the  Guaeer  ;  1000  men  of  the  land  of  Musri ;  10 
chariots,  10,000  men  of  the  land  of  Irkanat ;  200  men 
of  Matinbaal  of  Aradus  (Arvada) ;  200  men  of  the  land 
of  Usanat;  30  chariots  and  10,000  men  of  Adonibai 
of  Sizan ;  1000  camels  of  Gindibuh  of  Arba ; — hun- 
dred men  of  Bahsa  of  Ammon ;  these  twelve  princes 
rendered  aid  to  each  other,  and  marched  out  against 
me  to  contend  with  me  in  battle.  Aided  by  the  sublime 
assistance  which  Asshur  my  lord  gave  to  me,  I  fought 
with  them.  From  the  city  of  Karkar  as  far  as  the  city  of 
Gilzana 2  (?)  I  made  havoc  of  them.  Fourteen  thousand 
of  their  troops  I  slew ;  like  the  god  Bin  I  caused  the 
storm  to  descend  upon  them  ;  during  the  battle  I  took 
their  chariots,  their  horses,  their  horsemen,  and  their 
yoke-horses  from  them.3  On  the  obelisk  of  black 
basalt  found  in  the  ruins  of  Chalah,  Shalmanesar  says 
quite  briefly,  "  In  my  sixth  campaign  I  went  against 
the  cities  on  the  banks  of  Balikh  (Belik)  and  crossed 
the  Euphrates.  Benhadad  of  Damascus,  and  Irchulina 
of  Hamath,  and  the  kings  of  the  land  of  Chatti  and 
the  sea  came  down  to  battle  with  me.  I  conquered 
them ;  I  overcame  20,500  of  their  warriors  with  my 
arms."  The  same  statement  is  repeated  in  a  third 
inscription,  that  of  the  bulls.4 

The  kings  of  Syria  were  defeated,  but  by  no  means 
subdued.     Shalmanesar  says  nothing  of  their  subjuga- 

1  Bin-hidri  is  read  by  E.  Schrader  and  others.  Bimmon-hidri  by 
Sayce.  As  the  god  Bin  was  also  called  Eimmon,  the  ideogram  of  the 
name  may  be  read  one  way  or  the  other.  The  Books  of  the  Kings  call 
the  contemporary  of  Ahab,  Benhadad.  For  farther  information,  see 
p.  247,  note.  *  Sayce,  "  Eecords,"  3,  100. 

3  E.  Schrader,  "  Keilinschriften  und  A.  T."  s.  94  ff.,  101,  102; 
Menant,  loc.  cit.  pp.  99,  113.  4  Menant,  "Ann."  p.  115. 


tion  aud  tribute  (p.  246).  The  arms  of  Assyria  were 
next  turned  in  another  direction.  An  illegitimate 
brother,  Marduk-Belusati,  had  rebelled  against  Marduk- 
zikir-iskun,  the  son  and  successor  of  Nebu-Baladan  of 
Babylon.  Shalmanesar  supported  the  first.  During 
the  second  campaign  against  Marduk  -  Belusati  the 
united  troops  of  Marduk-zikir-iskun  and  Shalmanesar, 
or  the  latter  alone,  succeeded  in  defeating  the  rebels ; 
Marduk-Belusati  was  captured  and  put  to  death  with 
his  adherents.  Shalmanesar  sacrificed  at  Babylon, 
Borsippa,  and  Kutha.  He  claims  to  have  imposed 
tribute  on  the  chiefs  of  the  land  of  Kaldi  (Chaldsea), 
and  to  have  spread  his  fame  to  the  sea.1 

After  this  decisive  success  in  Babylonia,  Shalmanesar 
resumed  the  war  against  Damascus.  For  two  years 
in  succession  he  marched  out  against  Benhadad  of 
Damascus.  In  the  year  851  he  defeats  Benhadad  of 
Damascus,  the  king  of  Hamath,  together  with  12 
kings  from  the  shores  of  the  sea.2  Then  the  king 
tells  us  further :  "  For  the  ninth  time  (850  B.C.)  I 
crossed  the  Euphrates.  I  conquered  cities  without 
number ;  I  marched  against  the  cities  of  the  land  of 
Chatti  and  of  Hamath ;  I  conquered  89  (79)  cities. 
Benhadad  of  Damascus,  12  kings  of  the  Chatti  (Syrians), 
mutually  confided  in  their  power.  I  put  them  to 
flight."  And  further  :  "  In  the  fourteenth  year  of  my 
reign  (846  B.C.)  I  counted  my  distant  and  innumer- 
able lands.  With  120,000  men  of  my  soldiers  I 
crossed  the  Euphrates.  Meanwhile  Benhadad  of  Da- 
mascus, and  Irchulina  of  Hamath,  with  the  12  kings  of 
the  upper  and  lower  sea,  armed  their  numerous  troops 
to  march  against  me.  I  offered  them  battle,  put  them 
to  flight,  seized  their  chariots  and  their  horsemen,  and 

1  Vol.  i.  257.     Menant,  "  Babyl."  p.  135. 

1  Inscriptions  on  the  bulls  in  Menant,  "Ann."  p.  114. 

318  ASSYRIA. 

and  marched  against  the  cities  of  Hazael  of  Damascus, 
took  from  them  their  baggage.     In  order  to  save  their 
lives,  they  rose  up  and  fled." l     This  victory  also  was 
without  result.     In  vain   Shalmanesar  had  marched 
four  times  against  Damascus ;  in  vain  he  led  out  on 
the  last  campaign  120,000  men  against  Syria.    Not  till 
some  years  afterwards,  when  Hazael,  as  we  saw  above 
(p.  252),  killed  Beiihadad  and  acquired  the  throne  of 
Damascus  in  his  place,  can  Shalmanesar  speak  of  a 
decisive  campaign  in  Syria.     "  In  the  eighteenth  year 
of  my  reign  (842  B.C.)  I  crossed  the  Euphrates  for 
the  sixteenth  time.    Hazael  (Chazailu)  from  the  land  of 
Aram  trusted  in  the  might  of  his  troops,  collected  his 
numerous  armies,  and  made  the  mountains  of  Sanir,2 
the  summits  of  the  mountains  facing   the  range  of 
Lebanon,  his  fortress.     I  fought  with  him  and  over- 
threw him ;  16,000  of  his  warriors  I  conquered  with 
my  weapons;  1121  of  his  chariots,  410  of  his  horse- 
men, together  with  his  treasures,  I  took  from  him.     To 
save  his  life  he  fled  away.     I  pursued  him.     I  besieged 
him  in  Damascus,  his  royal  city  ;  I  destroyed  his  forti- 
fications.    I  marched  to  the  mountains  of  Hauran  ;  I 
destroyed  cities  without  number,  laid  them  waste,  and 
burned  them  with  fire  :    I   led   forth  their  prisoners 
without  number.     I  marched  to  the  mountains  of  the 
land  of  Bahliras,  which  lies  hard  by  the  sea  :  I  set  up 
my  royal  image  there.     At  that  time  I  received  the 
tribute  of  the  Tyriau    and   Sidouian    land,  of  Jehu 
(Jahua),  the  son  of  Omri  (Chumri),  i.  e.  of  Jehu,  king  of 
Israel."  3     Though  Sidon,  Tyre,  and  Israel  paid  tribute, 
the  resistance  of  the  Damascenes  was  still  unbroken. 
Shalmanesar  further  informs  us  that  (in  the  year  839 
B.c.)  he  crossed  the  Euphrates  for  the  twenty-first  time, 

1  E.  Schrader,  loc.  cit.  s.  103;  above,  p.  251. 

8  Communication  from  E.  Schrader ;  cf .  Deuteron.  iii.  9. 

3  E.  Schrader,  "K  A.  T."  s.  106,  107. 


But  he  does  not  say  that  he  reduced  them ;  he  only 
asserts  that  he  received  the  tribute  of  Tyre,  Sidon,  and 
Byblus,  and  then  assures  us,  quite  briefly,  in  the 
account,  of  his  twenty-fifth  campaigD  (835  B.C.),  that 
he  received  "  the  tribute  of  all  the  princes  of  Syria  "  (of 
the  land  of  Chatti).1 

In  the  very  first  years  of  his  reign  Shalmanesar  had 
contended  against  the  prince  Arami  of  Ararat,  and 
against  the  land  of  Nairi,  between  the  Eastern  Tigris 
and  the  Greater  Zab.  The  obedience  of  these  regions 
was  not  gained.  In  the  year  853  Shalmanesar  again 
marched  to  the  sources  of  the  Tigris,  erected  his  statue 
there,  and  laid  tribute  on  the  land  of  Nairi.2  Twenty 
years  later  he  sent  the  commander-in- chief  of  his  army, 
Dayan-Assur,  against  the  land  of  Ararat,  at  the  head 
of  which  Siduri  now  stood,  and  not  Arami.  Dayan- 
Assur  crossed  the  river  Arzania  (p.  314)  and  defeated 
Siduri  (833  B.C.).  On  a  farther  campaign  (in  830  B.C.) 
Dayan-Assur  crosses  the  Greater  Zab,  invades  the  terri- 
tory of  Khubuskia  (p.  314),  fights  against  prince  Udaki 
of  Van,  i.  e.  of  the  Armenian  land  round  Lake  Van, 
and  from  this  descends  into  the  land  of  the  Parsua, 
which  Shalmanesar  himself  had  trodden  seven  years 
before.  Here  Dayan-Assur  collected  fresh  tribute. 
On  a  third  campaign  (829  B.C.)  Dayan-Assur  received 
tribute  from  the  land  of  Khubuskia,  then  invaded 
Ararat,  and  there  plundered  and  burned  50  places. 

Meanwhile  Shalmanesar  himself  marched  in  the  years 
838  and  837  B.C.  against  the  land  of  Tabal,  i.  e. 
against  the  Tibarenes,  on  the  north-west  offshoot  of  the 
Armenian  mountains,  advanced  as  far  as  the  mines  of 
the  Tibarenes,  and  laid  tribute  on  their  24  princes.3  In 

1  Of.  above,  p.  257. 

2  Inscription  of  the  obelisk  and  the  bulls  in  Menant,  "  Ann."  99, 114. 

3  Menant,  loc.  cit.  p.  101. 

320  ASSYRIA. 

the  next  year  he  turns  to  the  south-east,  marches  over 
the  Lesser  Zab,  against  the  lands  of  Namri  and  Karkhar, 
which  we  must  therefore  suppose  to  have  been  between 
the  Lesser  Zab  and  the  Adhim  and  Diala,  on  the  spurs 
of  the  Zagrus.  Yanzu,  king  of  Namri,  was  taken 
captive,  and  carried  to  Assyria.  Shalmanesar  left  the 
land  of  Namri,  imposed  tribute  on  the  27  princes  of  the 
land  of  Parsua,  and  turned  to  the  plains  of  the  land 
of  Amadai,  i.  e.  against  Media  (835  B.C.).1  Two  years 
afterwards.  Shalmanesar  climbed,  for  the  ninth  time, 
the  heights  of  Amanus  (Chamani),  then  he  laid  waste 
the  land  of  Kirchi  (831  B.C.),  then  marched  once  more 
against  the  land  of  Namri,  there  laid  waste  250  places, 
and  advanced  beyond  Chalvan  (Chalonitis,  Holwan).2 
On  the  obelisk  of  black  basalt,  dug  up  at  Chalah  in 
the  remains  of  the  palace  of  Shalmanesar  II.  (the 
central  palace  of  the  explorers),  we  find  beside  the 
account  of  the  deeds  of  the  king  five  sculptures  in 
relief,  which  exhibit  payments  of  tribute.  Of  the 
picture  which  represents  the  payment  of  Jehu,  of  the 
kingdom  of  Israel,  we  have  spoken  at  length  above  (p. 
257).  Above  this,  which  is  the  second  picture,  on  the 
highest  or  first,  is  delineated  the  payment  from  the  land 
of  Kirzan.  The  title  tells  us  :  "  Tribute  imposed  on  Sua 
of  the  land  of  Kirzan : 3  gold,  silver,  copper,  lead, 
staves,  horses,  camels  with  two  humps."  As  on  the 
second  strip  the  king  is  represented  receiving  the 
tribute  of  Israel ;  so  on  this  strip  also  we  see  the 
leader  of  those  who  pay  tribute  prostrate  on  the  ground 
before  him;  behind  the  leader  are  led  a  horse  and  two 
camels  with  double  humps  ;  then  follow  people  carry- 
ing staves  and  kettles.  The  superscription  of  the  third 
relief  says  :  "  Tribute  imposed  on  the  land  of  Mushri : 

1  Menant,  p.  101.  *  Menant,  p.  104. 

8  Sayce  reads  Guzan. 


camels  with  two  humps,  the  ox  of  the  river  Sakeya." 
On  the  picture  we  see  two  camels  with  double  humps, 
a  hump-backed  buffalo,  a  rhinoceros,  an  antelope,  an 
elephant,  four  large  apes,  which  are  led,  and  one  little 
one,  which  is  carried.  The  superscription  of  the  fourth 
relief  says  :  "  Tribute  imposed  upon  Marduk-palassar  of 
the  land  of  Sukhi : l  silver,  gold,  golden  buckets,  Amsi- 
horns,  staves,  Birmi-robes,  stuffs."  The  relief  itself  de- 
picts a  lion,  a  deer,  which  is  clutched  by  a  second  lion, 
two  men  with  kettles  on  their  heads,  two  men  who  carry 
a  pole,  on  which  are  suspended  materials  for  robes, 
four  men  with  hooked  buckets  or  hooked  scrips,  two 
men  with  large  horns  on  their  shoulders,  two  men 
with  staves,  arid  lastly  a  man  carrying  a  bag.  The 
superscription  of  the  fifth  relief  says,  "  Tribute  imposed 
on  Garparunda  of  the  land  of  Patinai :  silver,  gold, 
lead,  copper,  objects  made  of  copper,  Amsi-horns,  hard 
wood."  2  Under  this  we  see  a  man  raising  his  hands 
in  entreaty,  a  man  with  a  bowl  with  high  cups  on 
his  head,  two  men  with  hooked  buckets,  carrying  horns 
on  their  shoulders,  one  man  with  staves  ;  after  these 
two  Assyrian  officers,  a  man  in  a  position  of  entreaty, 
two  men  with  hooked  buckets  and  horns,  a  man  with 
two  goblets,  two  men  with  hooked  buckets  and  sacks 
on  their  shoulders,  two  men,  of  whom  one  holds  a 
kettle,  and  the  other  carries  a  kettle  on  his  head. 

Assurnasirpal  had  already  fought  against  the  land 
of  Sukhi.  As  he  marches  to  the  Euphrates  in  order  to 
attack  Sadudu,  prince  of  Sukhi,  as  the  king  of  Babylon  • 
sends  auxiliaries  to  Sadudu  at  that  time,  and  the  land 
of  Chaldeea  is  seized  with  terror  after  the  conquest  of 
the  land  of  Sukhi,  we  must  look  for  Sukhi  on  the 

1  According  to  a  communication  from  E.  Schrader,  Marduk-habal- 
assur  ought  to  be  read,  not  Marduk-habal-iddin. 

2  Oppert,  "Memoires  de  1'Acad.  d.  inscript."  1869,  1,  513;  Sayce, 
"  Records  of  the  Past,"  5,  42. 

VOL.  n.  T 


Middle  Euphrates,  below  the  mouth  of  the  Chaboras. 
The  tribute  which,  according  to  that  inscription,  Shal- 
manesar  imposed  on  the  prince  of  Sukhi,  who  has  a  name 
which  may  be  compared  with  the  names  of  the  kings 
of  Babylon, — gold,  silver,  robes,  and  stuffs, — does  not 
contradict  this  assumption.  Shalmanesar  fought  against 
the  Patinai  in  the  first  year  of  his  reign,  according  to 
the  inscription  of  Kurkh.  Shapalulme,  the  prince  of 
the  Patinai  at  that  time,  combined  with  Sangar  of 
Karchemish  and  Akhuni  of  Tul-Barsip.  Like  these, 
the  Patinai  were  vanquished,  their  cities  were  taken, 
14,600  prisoners  were  carried  away,  and  they  were 
compelled  to  pay  tribute.  As  Shalmanesar  in  order 
to  reach  the  Patinai  marches  against  them  from  Mount 
Amanus,1  we  must  look  for  their  abode  on  the  Upper 
Euphrates,  to  the  north  of  Karchemish,  between  the 
Euphrates  and  the  Orontes.  The  tribute  imposed  on 
Garparunda  of  Patinai — gold,  silver,  copper,  Amsihorns, 
hard  wood — is  not  against  this  supposition.  The  land 
of  Kirzan  or  Guzan  we  can  only  attempt  to  fix  by  the 
tribute  paid — camels  with  double  humps.  This  kind  of 
camel  is  found  on  the  southern  shore  of  the  Caspian  Sea 
and  Tartary,  and  we  are  therefore  led  to  place  Kirzan 
on  the  southern  shore  of  the  Caspian.  The  land  of 
Mushri,  the  tribute  of  which  consists  of  hump-backed 
buffaloes,  i.  e.  Yaks  (an  animal  belonging  to  the  same 
district,  Bactria  and  Tibet),  camels  with  double  humps, 
elephants,  and  rhinoceroses,  and  apes,  must  therefore 
be  sought  in  eastern  Iran,  on  the  borders  of  the  district 
of  the  Indus,  whether  it  be  that  Shalmanesar  really 
penetrated  so  far,  or  that  the  terror  of  his  name  moved 
East  Iranian  countries  to  send  tribute  to  the  warrior 
prince  of  Nineveh  and  Chalah. 

Like  his  father,  Shalmanesar  resided  at  Chalah.     On 

1  Sayce,  "  Records  of  the  Past,"  3,  88,  89,  90,  91,  99. 


the  terrace  of  this  city,  to  the  south-east  of  the  palace 
of  his  father,  he  built  a  dwelling-place  for  himself,  and 
in  this  set  up  the  obelisk,  the  inscriptions  on  which 
give  a  brief  account  of  each  year  of  his  reign.  In  the 
ruins  of  this  house  two  bulls  also  have  been  discovered, 
which  are  covered  with  inscriptions,  which,  together 
with  the  inscription  of  Kurkh  on  the  Tigris,  supplement 
or  extend  the  statements  of  the  obelisk.  More  consider- 
able remains  have  come  down  to  us  of  another  building 
of  Shalmanesar.  Assurnasirpal  had  erected  at  Chalah 
two  temples  to  the  north  of  his  palace.  To  the  larger 
(western)  of  these  two  temples  on  the  north-west  corner 
of  the  terrace  Shalmanesar  added  a  tower,  the  ruins  of 
which  in  the  form  of  a  pyramidal  hill  still  overtop 
the  uniform  heap  of  the  ruined  palaces.  On  the 
foundation  of  the  natural  rock  of  the  bank  of  the 
Tigris  lies  a  square  substructure  (each  of  the  sides 
measures  over  150  feet)  of  20  feet  in  height,  built  of 
brick  and  cased  with  stone.  On  this  base  rises  a 
tower  of  several  diminishing  stories.  In  the  first  of 
these  stories,  immediately  upon  the  platform,  is  a  pas- 
sage 100  feet  long,  12  feet  high,  and  6  feet  in  breadth, 
which  divides  the  storey  exactly  in  the  middle  from 
east  to  west. 

Two  centuries  after  the  fall  of  the  Assyrian  kingdom, 
Xenophon,  marching  up  the  Tigris  with  the  10,000, 
reached  the  ruins  of  Chalah.  After  crossing  the 
Zapatus,  i.e.  the  Greater  Zab,  he  came  to  a  large 
deserted  city  on  the  Tigris,  the  name  of  which  sounded 
to  him  like  Larissa  (Chalah) ;  it  was  surrounded  by  a 
wall  about  seven  and  a-half  miles  long.  This  wall  had 
a  substructure  of  stone  masonry  about  20  feet  high ; 
on  this  it  rose,  25  feet  in  thickness,  and  built  of 
bricks,  to  the  height  of  100  feet.  Beside  the  city  was 
a  pyramid  of  stone,  a  plethron  (100  feet)  broad  and 

Y  2 

324  ASSYRIA. 

two  plethra  high ;  to  these  many  of  the  neighbouring 
hamlets  fled  for  refuge.1  Shalmanesar's  tower  was 
broken,  and  by  the  fall  of  the  upper  parts  had  become 
changed  into  a  pyramid.  The  sides  of  the  tower 
Xenophon  put  at  almost  half  their  real  size ;  the 
height  of  the  ruins  is  still  about  140  feet.  That 
Shalmanesar  also  stayed  at  Nineveh  is  proved  by  the 
inscriptions ;  that  he  possessed  a  palace  in  the  ancient 
city  of  Asshur  is  proved  by  the  stamp  of  the  tiles  at 
Kileh  Shergat.2 

In  a  reign  of  36  years  Shalmanesar  II.  had  gained 
important  successes.  In  the  north  he  had  advanced 
as  far  as  Lake  Van,  and  the  valley  of  the  Araxes,  the 
Tibarenes  in  the  north-west,  and  the  Cilicians  in 
the  west  had  felt  the  weight  of  his  arms.  He  had 
directed  his  most  stubborn  efforts  against  the  princes 
on  the  crossings  over  the  Euphrates  towards  Syria,  and 
towards  the  region  of  Mount  Amanus  and  Syria  itself. 
Damascus  and  Hamath  were  forced  to  pay  tribute 
after  a  series  of  campaigns  ;  Byblus,  Sidon,  and  Tyre 
repeatedly  paid  tribute,  and  Israel  after  it  had  received 
a  new  master  in  Jehu.  By  Shalmanesar's  successful 
interference  in  the  contest  for  the  crown  in  the  civil 
war  in  Babylon,  the  supremacy  of  Asshur  over  Babel 
was  at  length  obtained.  The  regions  of  the  Zagrus 
had  to  pay  tribute  to  Shalmanesar.  He  first  trod  the 
land  of  Media,  and  his  successes  were  felt  beyond 
Media  as  far  as  the  southern  shore  of  the  Caspian  Sea 
and  East  Iran. 

In  spite  of  the  unwearied  activity  of  Shalmanesar, 
in  spite  of  his  ceaseless  campaigns  and  the  important 
results  gained  by  his  weapons,  his  reign  ended  amid 
domestic  troubles,  caused  by  a  rebellion  of  the  native 
land.  Shalmanesar's  son  and  successor,  Samsi-Bin  III. 
(823 — 810  B.C.),  tells  us  in  an  inscription  found  in  the 

1  "  Anab."  3,  4,  7—9.  8  Menant,  loc.  cit.  p.  96. 


remains  of  his  palace,  which  he  built  in  the  south-east 
corner  of  the  terrace  of  Chalah,  that  his  brother  Assur- 
daninpal  set  on  foot  a  conspiracy  against  his  father 
Shalmanesar,  and  that  the  land  of  Asshur,  both  the  Upper 
and  Lower,  joined  the  rebellion.  He  enumerates  27 
cities,  among  them  Asshur  itself,  the  ancient  metropolis, 
and  Arbela,  which  joined  Assurdaninpal ;  but  "  with  the 
help  of  the  great  gods  "  Samsi-Bin  reduced  them  again 
to  his  power.  Then  he  tells  us  of  his  campaigns  in  the 
north  and  east.  In  his  first  campaign  the  whole  land  of 
Nairi  was  subjugated — all  the  princes,  24  in  number, 
are  mentioned  ;  the  land  of  Van  also  paid  tribute.  The 
Assyrian  dominion,  asserts  the  king,  stretched  from  the 
land  of  Nairi  to  the  city  of  Kar-Salmanassar,  opposite 
Karchemish  (p.  31 5).  Then  he  fought  against  the  land  of 
Giratbunda  (apparently  a  region  on  the  Caspian  Sea,  per- 
haps Gerabawend),  took  the  king  prisoner,  and  set  up 
his  own  image  in  Sibar,  the  capital  of  Giratbunda,1  and 
afterwards  directed  his  arms  against  the  land  of  Accad 
(Babylonia).  When  he  had  slain  13,000  men  and 
taken  3000  prisoners,  king  Marduk-Balatirib  marched 
out  against  him  with  the  warriors  of  Chaldsea  and 


Elam,  of  the  lands  of  Namri  (p.  320)  and  Aram.  He 
defeated  them  near  Dur-Kurzu,  their  capital :  5000 
were  left  on  the  field,  2000  taken  prisoners;  200 
chariots  of  war  and  ensigns  of  the  king  remained  in 
the  hands  of  the  Assyrians  (819  B.C.).  At  this  point 
the  inscription  breaks  off ;  elsewhere  we  hear  nothing 
of  further  successes  against  Babylonia,  we  only  learn 
that  Samsi-Bin  in  the  eleventh  and  twelfth  years  of 
his  reign  (812  and  811  B.C.)  again  marched  to  Chal- 
dsea  and  Babylon,2  and  we  can  only  conclude  from 

1  The  reading  is  uncertain. 

2  Oppert,  "  Empires,"  pp.  127, 128  ;  G.  Bawlinson,  "Monarch."  2Z,  p. 
115,  n.  8 ;  Menant,  loc.  cit.  p.  124. 

326  ASSYRIA. 

the  fact  that  the  king  of  Babylon  received  help  not 
only  from  Narari  and  Aram,  but  also  from  Elam,  that 
the  Assyrians  under  Samsi-Bin  continued  to  advance, 
and  that  their  power  must  by  this  time  have  appeared 
alarming  to  the  Elamites  also. 

Bin-nirar  III.  (810 — 781  B.C.),  the  son  and  successor 
of  Samsi-Bin,  raised  the  Assyrian  power  still  higher, 
Twice  he  marched  out  against  the  Armenian  land  on 
the  shore  of  Lake  Van  ;  eight  times  he  made  campaigns 
in  the  land  of  the  rivers,  i.  e.  Mesopotamia.  In  the 
fifth  year  of  his  reign  he  went  out  against  the  city  of 
Arpad  in  Syria ;  in  the  eighth  against  the  "  sea-coast," 
i.  e.  no  doubt  against  the  coast  of  Syria.  The  begin- 
ning of  an  inscription  remains  from  which  we  can  see 
the  extent  of  the  lands  over  which  he  ruled,  or  which 
he  had  compelled  to  pay  tribute.  "  I  took  into  my 
possession,"  so  this  fragment  tells  us,  "  from  the  land 
of  Siluna,  which  lies  at  the  rising  of  the  sun,  onwards  ; 
viz.,  the  land  of  Kib,  of  Ellip,  Karkas,  Arazias,  Misu, 
Madai  (Media),  Giratbunda  throughout  its  whole  extent, 
Munna,  Parsua,  Allabria,  Abdadana,  the  land  of  Nairi 
throughout  its  whole  extent,  the  land  of  Andiu,  which 
is  remote,  the  mountain  range  of  Bilchu  throughout  its 
whole  extent  to  the  great  sea  which  lies  in  the  east,  i.  e. 
as  far  as  the  Caspian  Sea.  I  made  subject  to  myself 
from  the  Euphrates  onwards  :  the  land  of  Chatti 
(Aram),  the  western  land  (mat  acharri]  throughout  its 
whole  extent,  Tyre,  Sidon,  the  land  of  Omri  (Israel) 
and  Edom,  the  land  of  Palashtav  (Philisteea)  as  far  as 
the  great  sea  to  the  setting  of  the  sun.  I  imposed 
upon  them  payment  of  tribute.  I  also  marched 
against  the  land  of  Imirisu  (the  kingdom  of  Damascus), 
aorainst  Mariah,  the  kingr  of  the  land  of  Imirisu.  I 

O  *•-* 

actually  shut  him  up  in  Damascus,  the  city  of  his 
kingdom ;  great  terror  of  Asshur  came  upon  him ;  he 
embraced  my  feet,  lie  became  a  subject ;  2300  talents  of 


silver,  20  talents  of  gold,  3000  talents  of  copper,  5000 
talents  of  iron,  robes,  carven  images,  his  wealth  and 
his  treasures  without  number,  I  received  in  his  palace 
at  Damascus  where  he  dwelt.1  I  subjugated  all  the 
kings  of  the  land  of  Chaldsea,  and  laid  tribute  upon 
them ;  I  offered  sacrifice  at  Babylon,  Borsippa,  and 
Kutha,  the  dwellings  of  the  gods  Be],  Nebo,  and 

According  to  this  king  Bin-nirar  not  only  main- 
tained the  predominance  over  Babylon  which  his 
grandfather  had  gained,  but  extended  it :  his  authority 
reached  from  Media,  perhaps  from  the  shores  of  the 
Caspian  Sea,  to  the  shore  of  the  Mediterranean  as  far 
as  Damascus  and  Israel  and  Edom,  as  far  as  Sidon  and 
Tyre  and  the  cities  of  the  Philistines.  The  Cilicians 
and  Tibarenes  who  paid  tribute  to  Shalmanesar  are  not 
mentioned  by  Bin  -  nirar  in  his  description  of  his 
empire.  So  far  as  we  can  see,  the  centre  of  the  kingdom 
was  meanwhile  extended  and  more  firmly  organised. 
Among  the  magistrates  with  whose  names  the  Assyrians 
denote  the  years,  at  the  time  of  Shalmanesar  and  his 
immediate  successors  the  names  of  the  commander-in- 
chief  and  three  court  officers  are  regularly  followed  by 
the  names  of  the  overseers  of  the  districts  of  Rezeph 
(Resapha  on  the  Euphrates),  of  Nisib  (Nisibis  on  the 
Mygdonius,  the  eastern  affluent  of  the  Chaboras),  of 
Arapha,  i.  e.  the  mountain-land  of  Arrapachitis  ( Albak) ; 
hence  we  may  conclude  that  these  districts  were  more 
closely  connected  or  incorporated  with  the  native  land, 
and  governed  immediately  by  viceroys  of  the  king.  How 
uncertain  the  power  and  supremacy  of  Assyria  was  at 
a  greater  distance  is  on  the  other  hand  equally  clear 
from  the  fact  that  Bin-nirar  had  to  make  no  fewer  than 
eight  campaigns  in  the  land  of  the  streams,  i.  e.  between 

*  E.  Schrader,  Joe.  cit.  B.  Ill,  112. 

*  Menant,  loc.  cit.  p.  127;  cf.  G.  Eawlinson,  2",  117. 

328  ASSYRIA. 

the  Tigris  and  the  Euphrates ;  that  he  marched  four 
times  against  the  land  of  Khubuskia  in  the  neighbour- 
hood of  Armenia,  and  twice  against  the  district  of  Lake 
Van,  against  which  his  father  and  grandfather  had  so 
often  contended. 

Bin-nirar  III.  also  built  himself  a  separate  palace  at 
Chalah,  on  the  western  edge  of  the  terrace  of  the  royal 
dwellings,  to  the  south  of  the  palace  of  his  great  grand- 
father Assurnasirpal.  In  the  ruins  of  the  temple 
which  he  dedicated  to  Nebo  have  been  found  six 
standing  images  of  this  deity,  two  of  which  bear 
upon  the  pedestal  those  inscriptions  which  informed 
us  that  the  wife  of  Bin-nirar  III.  was  named  Sammura- 
mat  (p.  45).  On  a  written  tablet  dated  from  the  year 
of  Musallim-Adar  (i.  e.  from  the  year  793  B.C.),  the 
eighteenth  year  of  Bin-nirar,  on  which  is  still  legible 
the  fragment  of  a  royal  decree,  we  also  find  the  double 
impress  of  his  seal — a  royal  figure  which  holds  a  lion. 
A  second  document  from  the  time  of  the  reign  of  this 
prince,  from  the  twenty-sixth  year  of  his  reign  (782 
B.C.),  registers  the  sale  of  a  female  slave  at  the  price  of 
ten  and  a  half  minae,  and  gives  the  name  of  the  ten 
witnesses  to  the  transaction.1  The  preservation  of  this 
document  is  the  more  important  inasmuch  as  a  notice 
in  Phenician  letters  is  written  beside  it.  Hence  we 
may  conclude  that  even  in  the  days  of  Bin-nirar  III. 
the  alphabetic  writing  was  known  as  far  as  this  point 
in  the  East,  though  the  cuneiform  alphabet  was 
retained  beside  it,  not  only  at  that  time,  but  down  to 
100  B.C.,  and  indeed,  to  all  appearance,  down  to  the 
first  century  of  our  reckoning.2 

1  Oppert  et  Menant,  "  Documents  juridiques,"  pp.  146 — 148. 
*  G.  Smith,  "Discov."  p.  389  ;  Oppert  et  Menant,  loc.  cit.  p.  342. 

END   OF   VOL.    II.